Cannabis Industry Labor Organizing Campaigns in New Jersey Now Taking Hold in the Ancillary Industry

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WEST BERLIN, N.J. — When moodmats employee Matthew Geroni decided to meet with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 360 (Local 360), he imagined that unionizing would be a daunting, time-consuming process. Now, reflecting on moodmats’ recent successful vote in favor of unionizing, he’s happy to admit he was wrong. Matthew credits the transparency and openness that Local 360 brought to the conversation for making the journey short and relatively smooth. He also notes that the information and resources offered by Local 360 rep Mike Burry were instrumental in enabling his colleagues to do their own research and come to their own decisions in favor of union membership.

Moodmats, in Eatontown, NJ, upcycles wetsuits, gaskets, wheelchair seat molds, stock car tires, and more to create a range of popular mats, pin boards and other accessories, primarily for the cannabis market. A part of the ancillary cannabis industry, the company says it reprocesses “over two tons of material every month.” The ancillary cannabis industry includes electrical and construction companies, law firms, accountants, security companies, and other product or service providers that do not directly touch or handle cannabis.


“Moodmats is lucky to have such committed employees,” said Hugh Giordano, UFCW Local 360’s director of organizing. “Instead of taking their skills elsewhere, they worked with Local 360 to find a better solution, one that ensures their voices are heard, rebalances a power dynamic that needed fixing, and provides workers with important benefits and protections.”

“In the marketplace, moodmats is known as this customer-focused company producing products in a responsible manner,” said Geroni, who works in the moodmats warehouse and coordinated with Local 360 organizer Mike Burry during the organizing effort. “And while that’s true, internally, employees often felt devalued and struggled to feel respected by their employers. That’s why, when they handed out fliers and brought in a lawyer to try and talk us out of unionizing, they only strengthened our resolve and made the outcome even more certain.”

“The value and importance of organizing is being recognized by a whole new generation of informed employees,” added Local 360’s Giordano. “Votes like this strengthen the entire industry and empower other workers to understand their rights and act on them.”

“The process is not as hard as many people imagine,” added Geroni. “And workers have more rights and protections than most of us think. So, don’t wait and don’t leave yourself vulnerable. Do your research, organize, and help yourself, your colleagues, and your community.”

From seed to sale, UFCW is a recognized leader in organizing cannabis industry employees and is the official AFL-CIO designated cannabis labor union. Representing tens of thousands of cannabis workers in dispensaries, labs, delivery, manufacturing, processing, grow facilities and more, UFCW works with employees and business owners to achieve the shared goal of a regulated cannabis industry that delivers family-sustaining jobs and is focused on social equity.

About United Food and Commercial Workers

The UFCW International Union represents over 1.3 million hardworking families across the U.S. and Canada. These members work in essential industries such as Retail, Warehousing, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Transportation, the Public Sector and Cannabis.