Call centre employees go union with UFCW Canada and become first unionized workers in Ontario’s cannabis sector

Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

TORONTO, March 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, workers at the call centre for the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) voted overwhelmingly in favour of unionization with UFCW Canada (United Food and Commercial Workers Union). By winning their union certification vote, the workers have become the first union members attached to Ontario’s rapidly growing cannabis sector.

The fundamental issues which drove the employees to support unionization were lack of hours, lack of consistency in scheduling, and the need for job security and just cause protection. Workers first contacted UFCW Canada after learning that the union already represents thousands of workers in the cannabis sector in Quebec and the United States.

The call centre is operated by Line One Contact Centres Inc., a company based out of Calgary, Alberta. Workers at the call centre, located in downtown Toronto, provide important customer support and mail tracking services for Ontario’s online cannabis store.

UFCW represents cannabis production and retail workers in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Minnesota and New Mexico. UFCW Canada represents the first unionized cannabis retail workers in Canada, at SQDC locations in Rosemont, Rimouski and Mirabel, Quebec.

The union is also single-handedly leading a legal challenge to the Ontario government’s exclusion of agricultural workers from the Labour Relations Act. In 2015, the Ontario Labour Relations Board issued a decision deeming cannabis production workers as agricultural workers. Ever since the Mike Harris government in 1995, agricultural workers have been excluded from the Act and thereby do not have a clear path to unionization. UFCW Canada will continue to fight for all workers involved in the cannabis sector.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) is one of Canada’s largest trade unions, representing more than 250,000 people across the country, and 1.3 million internationally, who work in every aspect of the food chain, health care, security, and many other key economic sectors. To find out more about UFCW and its ground-breaking work, visit


Kevin Shimmin, National Representative
UFCW Canada