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Budtenders Unionize in Hamilton

Budtenders at Canna Cabana in Hamilton, Ontario are the first retail cannabis workers ever to unionize in Ontario.

After raising concerns about wages, benefits, scheduling, seniority provisions, and job security, the 22 employees voted to join United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 175.

“We are proud to represent the first retail cannabis workers to join a union in Ontario,” says UFCW 175 President Shawn Haggerty. “I would like to welcome the Canna Cabana workers to the membership of UFCW Local 175. I know that you are looking forward to achieving improvements to your working conditions, and we look forward to helping make sure that your voices are heard.”

UFCW Canada Locals 175 & 633 represent more than 70,000 Ontarians in almost every sector of the economy.

The union is actively organizing the cannabis industry in Canada and has created Conscious Cannabis, which is targeting cannabis workers.

Workers at WeedMD, a licensed producer that employs more than 200 staff in Strathroy, Aylmer and Bowmanville, have been signing union cards with the UFCW since March.

Business owners must make a conscious effort to treat staff fairly and ensure they provide good working conditions if they want to keep the union out of their stores.

Photo courtesy of Clay Banks