TORONTO, May 17, 2017 /CNW/ - Workers at a medical marijuana clinic in Toronto have voted to join Unifor, making them what is believed to be the first for such workers in Canada to unionize.
"This is a fast-growing industry, and with the advent of legalization, it is important that the workers have a voice and representation as the sector evolves over the coming years," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Every worker has a right to unionize, no matter the status of an industry and this is an important step forward in the modern workplace."
In all, 40 employees at the Canna Clinic's Broadview Avenue location are now members of Unifor. The union will now begin to negotiate a first contract at the clinic.
Unifor Organizing Director John Aman said that safety and staff training are among the main concerns for the workers. "These workers turned to Unifor because they want to build careers in the industry, which is expected to grow rapidly with legalization next year and are seeking help for fair working conditions."
Canna has four other clinics in Toronto, as well as clinics in Vancouver. The newly unionized staff includes reception, production and packaging and retail staff, as well as supervisors. Unifor hopes the organizing efforts spark interest at the other Canna Clinics in Ontario.
Dias applauded the workers for reaching out to Unifor and taking action to organize a union. "With Unifor these workers will have one of the strongest and most innovative Canadian unions in their corner to help win fair wages and better health and safety provisions."
Unifor is Canada's largest union in the private sector, representing more than 310,000 workers, including more than 20,000 in the retail sector. It was formed Labour Day weekend 2013 when the Canadian Auto Workers and the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union merged.
For further information: please contact Unifor Communications National Representative Stuart Laidlaw at [email protected] or (cell) 647-385-4054.