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CAN (ON): Union asking for better protection for cannabis workers

The union for production workers at a Southwestern Ontario pot firm is demanding better protection for its members with at least 18 self-isolating amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Canada (UFCW) sent a letter to WeedMD, a licensed cannabis grower with head office in London and operations in Aylmer, Strathroy and Bowmanville, outlining concerns raised by its member workers.

Those issues include access to proper masks, personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, reliable transportation that ensures social distancing and the need for staggered start and end times for staff.

The 18 workers are self-isolating after either showing symptoms of COVID-19, caring for a sick relative, or having travelled recently, UFCW national representative Kevin Shimmin said Wednesday.

“They’re not getting paid or they’re using their vacation or getting a record-of-employment to go on EI (employment insurance) and access the sickness benefits,” Shimmin said.


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