HomeMarket NewsMicro Cap StocksFired For Cannabis Unionization? Missouri Pot Shop Slammed With $145K Settlement

Fired For Cannabis Unionization? Missouri Pot Shop Slammed With $145K Settlement

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Cannabis unionization is gaining momentum nationwide as the industry matures and big corporations take charge. However, unfair treatment of employees isn’t limited to large players; small businesses can also veer off track.

One such example is Point Management, the company behind Missouri marijuana shop Shangri-La. Recently, the company reached a $145,000 settlement with a labor union to resolve 15 charges of unfair labor practices. The allegations stemmed from the termination of 10 employees who were allegedly fired in response to their efforts to form a union earlier this year.

The National Labor Relations Board approved the deal between Point Management and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 655. As per the agreement, five terminated employees would be rehired.

According to the NLRB, dozens of unfair labor practice allegations at Shangri-La South in Columbia, Missouri were set to go to trial at the end of October. The settlement includes backpay, front pay, interest, and compensation for direct or foreseeable pecuniary harm to a total of 10 employees who were terminated following a March 2023 union organizing drive.

NLRB Region 14 Regional Director Andrea J. Wilkes stated, β€œIndividually and collectively, this settlement vindicates employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.”

Among other remedies obtained in the settlement, Shangri-La agreed to recognize and bargain with UFCW Local 655, pay backpay to 10 terminated employees, pay front pay to five terminated employees instead of reinstatement, pay damages to a terminated employee for the interest on a high-interest loan that an employee was forced to take out because of their termination, rescind its ban on terminated employees from public areas of Shangri-La, rescind certain provisions of its handbook and non-disclosure agreement, read a remedial notice to employees at meetings covering each shift, email the remedial notice to its current employees, place the notice to employees on WhatsApp, and attend a training conducted by the NLRB for its managers and supervisors about employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

Fake Cannabis Unions

Meanwhile, MJBizDaily’s Chris Roberts recently wrote about the many challenges facing the fledgling cannabis industry, including β€œfake unions.”

According to Roberts’ research, there are two competing labor organizations with signed workers at an Ascend dispensary, which does business under a New York-based multistate operator Ascend Wellness (AAWH).

Part of the workers at Ascend Montclair in New Jersey are unionized with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), while some budtenders are with an outfit called Cannabis Engineers Extractors and Distributors (CEED) with a local unit number 420. Per MJBiz’s report, the UFCW came after workers became suspicious about CEED 420.

Labor organizers and experts believe CEED 420 operates like a β€œcompany union,” or a sham labor organization to hinder legitimate labor unions.

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Photo: Courtesy of succo, mrkukuruznik5 by Pixabay

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