How Much will Trimmers Make When Pot is Legal?

With the last few posts and the seasonal angst, trimmers and their wages have gotten a lot of attention here.  As if in a cosmic response this article [article no longer available] appeared announcing the Teamster’s union’s newly negotiated compensation for “gardeners, trimmers and cloners.”

Their newly negotiated two-year contract provides them with a
pension, paid vacation and health insurance. Their current wages of
$18 per hour will increase to $25.75 an hour within 15 months,
according to the union.
While this salary is below what a good trimmer can make on good pot (assuming 8 hour pounds– which is probably a little slow). $250 divided by 8 =$31.25 per hour.  When you throw in pension, vacation and health insurance, this suddenly looks very good.
Anyone looking into getting a union card?
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45 comments

  • And with a union trimmer job you can’t get fired just because you don’t sleep with your boss anymore.

  • With a union trimmer job, they probably won’t feed you M&M’s either. Some things get better….Some things get a lot worse.

  • With a union trimmer job, they probably won’t feed you M&M’s either. Some things get better….Some things get a lot worse.

  • M&M’s ain’t gon out pay out workers’ compensation on chronic back spasms.

  • M&M’s ain’t gon out pay out workers’ compensation on chronic back spasms.

  • ten bucks an hour.

  • ten bucks an hour.

  • Machines will trim the government’s weed , which will be the only legal weed- only a fool would think for a moment that they will be allowed to open a business and turn a profit.
    Vote NO until a real legal weed bill can be brought out, one that cuts government out of the money, and one that frees their prisoners and forces them to admit their transgressions against Mankind. May everyone who works for government burn in Hell forever!

    • Gosh, my dad and mom did, my husband does, even I worked for the government. I hope the devil finds me just a bit of a handful and kicks me out before I burn in hell too long.

    • Holy Cow. Harsh words for thousands of dedicated workers that work for a moderate salary. The devil would have to unionize.

  • Machines will trim the government’s weed , which will be the only legal weed- only a fool would think for a moment that they will be allowed to open a business and turn a profit.
    Vote NO until a real legal weed bill can be brought out, one that cuts government out of the money, and one that frees their prisoners and forces them to admit their transgressions against Mankind. May everyone who works for government burn in Hell forever!

    • Gosh, my dad and mom did, my husband does, even I worked for the government. I hope the devil finds me just a bit of a handful and kicks me out before I burn in hell too long.

    • Holy Cow. Harsh words for thousands of dedicated workers that work for a moderate salary. The devil would have to unionize.

  • Actually, burning in Hell is a way out. Burn a half a joint and you’ll soon find yourself in heaven.

  • Actually, burning in Hell is a way out. Burn a half a joint and you’ll soon find yourself in heaven.

  • organic mechanic™

    A small lesson on Unions.
    I am an AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) Union member in good standing. I have been for over 15 years. AFTRA is part of the AFL-CIO as is the Teamsters, but not SEIU, the break-away Union.
    I pay Dues (money dues) twice a year to my Union. I was only able to get a union card by being hired by a union shop, and I couldn’t get hired by a union shop unless I had a union card. Therefore, I was *grandfathered* in by the TV station that wanted me. However, I had to pay a lump sum of one thousand ($1,000) just to join. Normally, unions are Closed Shops. Very difficult to get into.
    Pensions mean — your contributions. Yes, the Union contributes some, but most come directly from your paycheck before you cash it. Pensions materialize at retirement, meaning you have to put in at least 30+ years to get your full pension. Furthermore, Pension Funds are invested in major Wall Street operations — primarily the War Industry. You, the union member, don’t have much say in the investments.
    Healthcare costs are also deducted from your paycheck. Again, the employer contributes some according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but they are paying less and less while the individual union member pays more. That is why the Unions did not back Universal Health Care — Union Health care is a huge operation (lucrative) for the union Administrators.
    Unions also have to follow fair hiring practices, meaning white only doesn’t pass.
    Unions have strict regs regarding time off, breaks, etc that are haggled w/ the Employer during contract negotiations. So, as a trimmer, you may be required to sit in the same place, in a single cell cubicle of sorts, working non-stop for quite a spell.
    Think Assembly Line.
    Also: your union dues are often paid to political parties in campaign donations whether you support the candidate or party or not. Say goodbye to political independence.
    I think it’s a con — Union membership has fallen dramatically across the board except for hospital workers. They’ll do anything for new blood. Promise the world and deliver mediocrity and more hands on the paycheck.
    Trust me, many trimmers would be shocked getting into the paycheck economy w/ regard to how much money will be taken from their paychecks that they will never see.
    Peace out.

    • Fiance here:

      I am a member of IATSE……my initiation fee was $195, paid in 2004. Its higher than that now but still a great deal. I pay $195 a year + 3.5% of my earnings. For that I get a lot. It only takes 5 years to get vested in our retirement fund. All money paid into that fund are employer contributions and some from the 3.5% of my earnings. I also have an annuity fund that is entirely employer contributions…vested after 3 years. Not all unions are the same. The members make the rules, there are constitution and by laws for every union that are voted on by the members of that union.

      This is not my first union…….I have worked through 5 IATSE locals in 3 states as well as another union in Texas. All of the 5 IATSE locals had different requirements for joining, different fees and different qualifying requirements.

      Any group of people that want to can start their own union……..read the rules and regulations for unions that are goverened by your state. Then contact the AFLCIO or any union and see if you can piggy back off them. There are as many ways to start a union as there are unions. You local national labor board representatiive can also help.

      • Thanks, that gave a good overview of a union.

        • Fiance here:

          No problem. A lot of people that have worked through unions without actually joining and learning how they operate have bad experiences and think that all are the same. To have a strong union the members have to participate. There are a couple of “traveling” union officer training classes that move around the country and teach anyone with the fee (which I don’t think is more than a few hundred dollars) all the rules and regulations and proper procedure.

  • organic mechanic™

    A small lesson on Unions.
    I am an AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) Union member in good standing. I have been for over 15 years. AFTRA is part of the AFL-CIO as is the Teamsters, but not SEIU, the break-away Union.
    I pay Dues (money dues) twice a year to my Union. I was only able to get a union card by being hired by a union shop, and I couldn’t get hired by a union shop unless I had a union card. Therefore, I was *grandfathered* in by the TV station that wanted me. However, I had to pay a lump sum of one thousand ($1,000) just to join. Normally, unions are Closed Shops. Very difficult to get into.
    Pensions mean — your contributions. Yes, the Union contributes some, but most come directly from your paycheck before you cash it. Pensions materialize at retirement, meaning you have to put in at least 30+ years to get your full pension. Furthermore, Pension Funds are invested in major Wall Street operations — primarily the War Industry. You, the union member, don’t have much say in the investments.
    Healthcare costs are also deducted from your paycheck. Again, the employer contributes some according to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, but they are paying less and less while the individual union member pays more. That is why the Unions did not back Universal Health Care — Union Health care is a huge operation (lucrative) for the union Administrators.
    Unions also have to follow fair hiring practices, meaning white only doesn’t pass.
    Unions have strict regs regarding time off, breaks, etc that are haggled w/ the Employer during contract negotiations. So, as a trimmer, you may be required to sit in the same place, in a single cell cubicle of sorts, working non-stop for quite a spell.
    Think Assembly Line.
    Also: your union dues are often paid to political parties in campaign donations whether you support the candidate or party or not. Say goodbye to political independence.
    I think it’s a con — Union membership has fallen dramatically across the board except for hospital workers. They’ll do anything for new blood. Promise the world and deliver mediocrity and more hands on the paycheck.
    Trust me, many trimmers would be shocked getting into the paycheck economy w/ regard to how much money will be taken from their paychecks that they will never see.
    Peace out.

    • Fiance here:

      I am a member of IATSE……my initiation fee was $195, paid in 2004. Its higher than that now but still a great deal. I pay $195 a year + 3.5% of my earnings. For that I get a lot. It only takes 5 years to get vested in our retirement fund. All money paid into that fund are employer contributions and some from the 3.5% of my earnings. I also have an annuity fund that is entirely employer contributions…vested after 3 years. Not all unions are the same. The members make the rules, there are constitution and by laws for every union that are voted on by the members of that union.

      This is not my first union…….I have worked through 5 IATSE locals in 3 states as well as another union in Texas. All of the 5 IATSE locals had different requirements for joining, different fees and different qualifying requirements.

      Any group of people that want to can start their own union……..read the rules and regulations for unions that are goverened by your state. Then contact the AFLCIO or any union and see if you can piggy back off them. There are as many ways to start a union as there are unions. You local national labor board representatiive can also help.

      • Thanks, that gave a good overview of a union.

        • Fiance here:

          No problem. A lot of people that have worked through unions without actually joining and learning how they operate have bad experiences and think that all are the same. To have a strong union the members have to participate. There are a couple of “traveling” union officer training classes that move around the country and teach anyone with the fee (which I don’t think is more than a few hundred dollars) all the rules and regulations and proper procedure.

  • The obvious practical problems aside, I believe there to be a better solution to organizing a grey market workforce: it’s by way of vesting in the business. This was formally and successfully done by the prostitution industry in the United States and remains fully in tact today. It’s anonymous yet you may choose long term vested workers for higher pay or cheaper, unknowns for dirt cheap.

    I don’t have personal experience with this (like it matters) but I have asked some “hobbyists” and “providers” (look it up) about this arrangement for the purposes of mobilizing this general framework to the emerald triangle. The general idea is that there are reviews of each worker or provider and they are weighted by the reviews of each employer. The higher the “vesting” power, the more the review is worth. Everybody has the ability to gain “vesting” but your net worth is based on your trustworthiness (how “vested” you are). The website responsible for this is MAMMOTH and you can find it online.

    If anyone wants to start a formal review, I have the webmasters and general layout down. It requires funding (like $100k for the entire triangle). Starting it is the big trick, and it is what costs (marketing mainly). I understand that this has been tried, but the general principles were flawed. There was no economic incentive behind it. This is different; there exists an undisputed economic axiom that reducing trade barriers transfers directly to economic gain for everyone.

  • The obvious practical problems aside, I believe there to be a better solution to organizing a grey market workforce: it’s by way of vesting in the business. This was formally and successfully done by the prostitution industry in the United States and remains fully in tact today. It’s anonymous yet you may choose long term vested workers for higher pay or cheaper, unknowns for dirt cheap.

    I don’t have personal experience with this (like it matters) but I have asked some “hobbyists” and “providers” (look it up) about this arrangement for the purposes of mobilizing this general framework to the emerald triangle. The general idea is that there are reviews of each worker or provider and they are weighted by the reviews of each employer. The higher the “vesting” power, the more the review is worth. Everybody has the ability to gain “vesting” but your net worth is based on your trustworthiness (how “vested” you are). The website responsible for this is MAMMOTH and you can find it online.

    If anyone wants to start a formal review, I have the webmasters and general layout down. It requires funding (like $100k for the entire triangle). Starting it is the big trick, and it is what costs (marketing mainly). I understand that this has been tried, but the general principles were flawed. There was no economic incentive behind it. This is different; there exists an undisputed economic axiom that reducing trade barriers transfers directly to economic gain for everyone.

  • some people are so eager to put on some kind of uniform…all these union seekers, in a here-to-fore black-frigging-market. Ask yourself who could want this? Whoever these newly proclaimed union masters are. It would be their paying job, to collect a little from everybody…not so much to be a broker, but to collect a certificate fee, for a certificate they print on their high quality color printer…after they check out your stuff and all that. Who are they? I have no idea, but the idea is pretty comic book. The Trimmers Union…too funny. WIl they be raiding only non-unions?

    BTW I did a little union work, it was pretty much like Organic Mechanic says. I paid into it a hefty chunk every paycheck, for expensive benefits Iknew probably wouldn’t cash in on, union dues (!), etc. Still the job started about a dollar higher than it’s private equivelant, overtime accumulated fairly, work was ’round the clock. That was right before the dot com bubble bust…if I’d have stayed with the union I’d have been out of a job a year into it, simply due to budget cuts due to increasing decreases and all that economy.

  • some people are so eager to put on some kind of uniform…all these union seekers, in a here-to-fore black-frigging-market. Ask yourself who could want this? Whoever these newly proclaimed union masters are. It would be their paying job, to collect a little from everybody…not so much to be a broker, but to collect a certificate fee, for a certificate they print on their high quality color printer…after they check out your stuff and all that. Who are they? I have no idea, but the idea is pretty comic book. The Trimmers Union…too funny. WIl they be raiding only non-unions?

    BTW I did a little union work, it was pretty much like Organic Mechanic says. I paid into it a hefty chunk every paycheck, for expensive benefits Iknew probably wouldn’t cash in on, union dues (!), etc. Still the job started about a dollar higher than it’s private equivelant, overtime accumulated fairly, work was ’round the clock. That was right before the dot com bubble bust…if I’d have stayed with the union I’d have been out of a job a year into it, simply due to budget cuts due to increasing decreases and all that economy.

  • MrTwister everybody know salmon707 gives the best trim jobs.

  • MrTwister everybody know salmon707 gives the best trim jobs.

    • Ha, in retrospect maybe those hitchikers who asked if I needed any trim work were talking about something entirely different than marjoowana…yikes…

  • This is an interesting discussion, and I’ve heard good arguments on both sides of this issue. But I think there’s more possibilities than many people assume, and it’s not as black and white as ‘bureaucratic, absolutist union vs. wild west unregulated workplace’. For example, there are unions and workers associations that are based on anti-authoritarian ideals – the organization of sex workers that mr. twister talked about is a great example. There are also unions such as the IWW that tend to do things right, and organize themselves horizontally rather than vertically. (I actually saw an IWW organizer’s cards posted at some small town bulletin boards – maybe this is already starting?) There is also the possibility that growers’ organizations could preempt this, set minimum workplace standards, and call out growers that engage in bad practices and abuse their workforce; however, this seems like a very remote possibility, as the triangle’s culture of ‘mind your own business & get off my land’ wouldn’t mesh well with such an outcome.

    All in all, though, I think something has to change in this industry, and soon. This season, a very hardworking, honest friend of ours was forced to leave unpaid and had a gun put to her face, and where I worked, my co-workers and I were unpaid promised wages and lived in very crowded, unsanitary conditions. There was also definite sexual abuse from the farm owner, and many of us suspect a rape as well. (I wonder how often this happens… probably a lot.) This is all incredibly fucked up, but when the people you work for are well-armed and likely connected with local law enforcement, what are you going to do? All you can do is leave, then when everyone leaves, the owner goes to Ray’s and picks up another batch of clueless kids and the cycle continues. The money and power associated with this industry have made it very dirty. I don’t think I’ll be back next year, as I can make almost as much money with legitimate harvests with far less bullshit.

    As for how much trimmers will be paid when weed is legalized? They’ll put everything into boxcars and ship it to Guatemala and have children trim for less than a dollar an hour, then ship it all back for processing, just like a million other commodities in our economy.

    Anyhow, if anyone has experience in attempting to organize workers in this industry, I’d be curious to hear about their experiences. I can receive mail at youcaneatindustrialwaste at yahoo dot com.

  • This is an interesting discussion, and I’ve heard good arguments on both sides of this issue. But I think there’s more possibilities than many people assume, and it’s not as black and white as ‘bureaucratic, absolutist union vs. wild west unregulated workplace’. For example, there are unions and workers associations that are based on anti-authoritarian ideals – the organization of sex workers that mr. twister talked about is a great example. There are also unions such as the IWW that tend to do things right, and organize themselves horizontally rather than vertically. (I actually saw an IWW organizer’s cards posted at some small town bulletin boards – maybe this is already starting?) There is also the possibility that growers’ organizations could preempt this, set minimum workplace standards, and call out growers that engage in bad practices and abuse their workforce; however, this seems like a very remote possibility, as the triangle’s culture of ‘mind your own business & get off my land’ wouldn’t mesh well with such an outcome.

    All in all, though, I think something has to change in this industry, and soon. This season, a very hardworking, honest friend of ours was forced to leave unpaid and had a gun put to her face, and where I worked, my co-workers and I were unpaid promised wages and lived in very crowded, unsanitary conditions. There was also definite sexual abuse from the farm owner, and many of us suspect a rape as well. (I wonder how often this happens… probably a lot.) This is all incredibly fucked up, but when the people you work for are well-armed and likely connected with local law enforcement, what are you going to do? All you can do is leave, then when everyone leaves, the owner goes to Ray’s and picks up another batch of clueless kids and the cycle continues. The money and power associated with this industry have made it very dirty. I don’t think I’ll be back next year, as I can make almost as much money with legitimate harvests with far less bullshit.

    As for how much trimmers will be paid when weed is legalized? They’ll put everything into boxcars and ship it to Guatemala and have children trim for less than a dollar an hour, then ship it all back for processing, just like a million other commodities in our economy.

    Anyhow, if anyone has experience in attempting to organize workers in this industry, I’d be curious to hear about their experiences. I can receive mail at youcaneatindustrialwaste at yahoo dot com.

  • I’ve been hearing about clippers unions [sherry champagne] for decades. bah.
    Independent contractor: free enterprise, open/free market, entrepreneurial hutzpah.
    Requirements to be met:
    proper lighting
    clean/comfortable environment
    payment upon receipt of goods/services [no waiting for pounds to sell]
    fee scale on a per-client-basis
    product in ready-to-clip stages

    If none of the above are met, you walk. period. Call your own shots. You don’t need a union to create your own job. Come on people. My business cards are printed.

  • So does anyone know how one would join this trimmers union? Trimmer looking for ongoing work…

  • So does anyone know how one would join this trimmers union? Trimmer looking for ongoing work…

  • Go here and read the article it tells you the name of the Union. You can probably call Sacramento information and get the phone number.

  • Go here and read the article it tells you the name of the Union. You can probably call Sacramento information and get the phone number.

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