UFCW Issues WeedMD Notice To Bargain

WeedMD Inc (TSXV: WMD) appears to have played too closely with that of unions, without being unionized themselves. Now, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW Canada) has notified the producer to sit down and bargain a contract for the roughly 250 employees at its Strathroy, Ontario cultivation facility.

The notice issued by UFCW is one of the first to be issued for a cannabis producer within Canada. The company, who is notably backed by LiUNA, a union representing approximately a half million workers in North America, as of late has been focused on securing supply agreements for employee benefits with unions. Now, it appears employees are looking to enter a contract with a union of their own.

Workers from WeedMD have evidently contacted the union following the success of UFCW to successfully unionize numerous cannabis operations across Canada and the US, which includes production facilities as well as retail dispensaries. Reported issues by workers, as per UFCW, include hours, scheduling, unjust termination, abuse of power and unsafe working conditions. The union also alleges that one employee was terminated following previous attempts to unionize the workforce.

In response, UFCW is looking to enact just cause protection, fair and secure scheduling, wage increases, health and safety measures, and other “urgently needed improvements.”

Cannabis work within Ontario, as per UFCW, falls under the Agricultural Employee Protection Act rather than that of the Labour Relations Act. Since it’s inception in 2002, no union has successfully unionized members for the purpose of collective bargaining under this act.

Following the merger between WeedMD and Starseed Medicinal last fall, it is believed that a number of employees were laid off as a measure of streamlining operations and reducing duplicity, however exact numbers are not known.

WeedMD last traded at $0.31 on the TSX Venture.

Information for this analysis was found via Sedar, and WeedMD Inc. The author has no securities related to this organization. WeedMD Inc was previously a client of CanaCom Group, the parent company of The Deep Dive. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security.