“Our BC BUD division keeps growing because cannabis industry workers know their value and the power they can wield when they work together.”
Cannabis workers in Peachland, B.C., have become the first growing operation and extraction facility to unionize in Canada.
Following a unanimous vote, workers at Potanicals Green Growers ratified their first collective agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), Local 1518, earlier this week.
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The unit, which began negotiations in March, joins the BC BUD division of UFCW 1518, which represents more than 25,000 workers across community health, hospitality, retail and other sectors in B.C.
“Our BC BUD division keeps growing because cannabis industry workers know their value and the power they can wield when they work together,” UFCW 1518 president Kim Novak says in a press release. “I’m proud to welcome them to their union and to help them fight for more improvements in the workplace,” Novak adds.
Under the new collective agreement, workers will have a clearer wage scale, with progression based on the number of hours worked, five guaranteed paid sick days annually and a contract-backed grievance procedure for solving problems in the workplace.
Last year, two B.C. dispensaries became the first private pot shops in Canada to unionize. Budtenders at two locations of Clarity Cannabis joined UFCW 1518 in February.
“We are proud to be the first union in Canada to organize private dispensaries,” Novak said in a statement last year. “The cannabis industry is an emerging sector and it’s important to build worker power so that budtenders, as well as other cannabis workers, have a strong voice. That is our union’s commitment.”
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