EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been modified to say the workers were picketing. The story has also been updated -- due to a source error -- to reflect that current employees were also on the picket line.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Fired and current Shangri-La employees were on the picket line Tuesday.
The former employees told ABC17 crews they were let go after the company learned they wanted to unionize.
"Me and my coworkers wanted to form a union. And, when that got out to the company, they didn't like that. And, started getting rid of people with very very vague reasons," former supervisor Andrew Nassbaum said. "A lot of these people left high-paying medical jobs. They're very informed, very educated, and actually care about the patients. We're just trying to stand up for worker's rights and they don't like that."
The company said they "provide no validity" to the claim they fired employees.
"We do respect the rights of our employees (former and current) to choose to unionize is a majority of the team votes for unionization during the NLRB scheduled vote. However, no official decision has been made by the NLRB and there is no voting date or bargaining unit determined at this time," Shangri-La representatives said in an email.
"Right now, we're out here. The workers asked for recognition for their union. They had a majority already signed up on cards. They asked for recognition on March 31. Two days later, Monday the second, I'm sorry, Monday the third, they decided to fire and/or suspend three of the workers at the store," said Sean Shannon, cannabas organizing coordinator at United Food and Commercial Workers union.
Currently, there are seven court cases against Shangri-La on the National Labor Relations Board.
"All of the above cases were filed within a concentrated time period by former employees. The individuals who filed these cases have all violated compliance regulations and/ or have actively created hostile work environments," said Shangri-La representatives in an email.
Shangri-La representatives said they are cooperating with the NLRB and providing all requested information.