Ontario Cannabis Store Call Centre Workers Vote to Unionize

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Cannabis call centre workers vote to unionize By Sara MojtehedzadehWork and Wealth Reporter Around 20 Toronto-based employees of Line One Contact Centres, which provides call centre services to the OCS, voted Tuesday to join the United Food and Commercial Workers union. (RICHARD VOGEL / AP FILE PHOTO)

Ontario Cannabis Store call centre workers have voted unanimously to unionize in a drive that put fair hours, scheduling and job security at centre stage, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

Around 20 Toronto-based employees of Line One Contact Centres, which provides call centre services to the OCS, voted Tuesday to join UFCW — although organizer Kevin Shimmin said the employer is challenging seven ballots cast by workers hired through a temp agency.

Shimmin said the union is insisting that temp agency workers be extended the same protections as directly hired ones.

“The fight that might be coming up soon is just to make sure that everyone is treated equally,” he told the Star.

The call centre drive is part of a broader movement to unionize the cannabis sector, which has been plagued by complaints of precarious work; the Ontario Public Service Employees Union is also currently seeking to organize up to 200 warehouse workers at an OCS warehouse operated by contractor Domain Logistics.

At the Toronto call centre, the battle has sometimes been fraught: UFCW recently filed an unfair labour practice complaint against Line One for terminating an employee leading the union drive, according to documents seen by the Star.

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