UFCW organizing Enniskillen cannabis workers


The United Food and Commercial Workers is trying to organize workers at High Park Farms.
The move comes after the cannabis operation’s parent company, Tilray, launched a company-wide restructuring program which led to the loss of about 140 jobs including about 40 at the Enniskillen operation.
UFCW National Representative, Santiago Escobar says workers called the union after things began to change. He says the shifts were changed to 12 hours. A flyer handed out to employees Tuesday night said employees had been told any new people hired at the plant would be making $14 per hour instead of the $17.
Escobar says workers have been told by the company they can’t organize under a union because the cannabis operation is agricultural. Escobar says that while some of the workers would be classified as agricultural – and therefore could not join a union – only employees who actually care for the plant are excluded from unions.
Up to 60 people in Enniskillen who are janitors or work in the packing area, could still unionize. “We have strong support in the plant,” he says. He could not say when the union would hold a vote.
High Park farms says it believes in a “direct two-way relationship with employees” but it has “absolutely not engaged in any delaying tactics” in the application process.
A statement adds the company has provided the workers with information and “encouraged them to educate themselves about their decision.”