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Canadian Cannabis Call-Center Workers Vote to Join UFCW

March 20, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

TORONTO, Ontario—With legal marijuana stores scheduled to open in Ontario April 1, call-center workers at the province’s government-owned pot wholesaler voted unanimously March 12 to join the United Food and Commercial Workers. But Line One Contact Centres, which provides call-center services to the Ontario Cannabis Store, is challenging the results, saying that seven of the about 20 workers who cast ballots were hired through a temp agency.  UFCW organizer Kevin Shimmin told the Toronto Star that temp workers should get the same protections as directly hired ones. “The fight that might be coming up soon is just to make sure that everyone is treated equally,” he said. The UFCW has also filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board, alleging that the worker who started the union drive was fired in February as retaliation. Meanwhile, with precarious work becoming a major complaint in the budding industry, the Ontario Public Service Employees Union is trying to organize up to 200 warehouse workers at an Ontario Cannabis Store warehouse operated by contractor Domain Logistics. OCS is a government-owned corporation that will be the sole legal wholesaler to Ontario’s pot stores, and will also handle online sales. Read more

March 20, 2019

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