COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The National Labor Relations Board approved a unionization election for workers at a south Columbia marijuana dispensary.
The board ordered the election in a May 22 ruling for workers to vote on whether or not they want to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655. The board will conduct the secret ballot election at "somewhere other than" the dispensary on Peachtree Drive. The unit would cover 24 workers, including full-time and part-time inventory specialists, patient consultants and patient consultant supervisors.
The Board said the union election would only apply for workers at the Peachtree Drive store, and not for those at the company's northeast Columbia store or Jefferson City location.
People picketed outside the store in May after they claimed the store let many of them go for trying to unionize the workplace. The company told ABC 17 News on May 16 that those workers were fired for violating compliance regulations or creating a hostile working environment.
Sean Shannon, cannabis coordinator for UFCW Local 655, said the union has helped file complaints on behalf of workers either let go or suspended without pay from the store. Shannon said five workers had been fired and four are on suspension.
"They want to have a fair share of the pie," Shannon said. "It's a billion-dollar industry that's come to Missouri and we need better than the wages they get. We need job security. As you can see, we need job security."
Marijuana dispensary workers at a St. Louis store voted to unionize in April.