Union rallies at Near West Side dispensary where workers claim they were fired for organizing efforts – Chicago Sun-Times

A rally was held Wednesday outside a Near West Side cannabis dispensary by union leaders and elected officials a week after two employees claimed they were fired for their organizing efforts.

“This is an industry that promised great jobs and career opportunities when pushing to legalize marijuana and they aren’t living up to that promise,” said Jim Doane, one of the recently fired employees. “We are making what Wendy’s entry-level employees are making and we are just advocating for better money, better scheduling and better ways to be promoted.”

Doane, 48, left a career as a restaurant general manager to become a bud tender at Zen Leaf Dispensary, 1301 S. Western Ave. He said it was his dream job and he quickly became one of the dispensary’s best employees — receiving highly rated reviews online and being trusted to help establish other dispensaries in other newly legalized states.

He said poor wages, scheduling and advancement opportunities made him look toward Teamsters Local 777, who had just successfully helped another Zen Leaf dispensary in suburban Lombard unionize earlier this year — a move he believes cost him his job as he was an organizing leader.

Workers at the Zen Leaf Dispensary in the Medical District

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