UFCW 1518 is calling on Victoria Council to protect budtenders as the city considers amending the bylaws that govern cannabis dispensaries. The city is considering changing the law that requires two (2) staff members to be onsite during all operating hours.
Staff who work alone in retail stores experience more violence, harassment, threats, and abusive behaviour from customers. Workers who deal with cash are at even higher risk when working alone, particularly at night.
Budtenders in Victoria have reported regular incidences of hostile, threatening and dangerous interactions with customers throughout the City of Victoria. These workers are concerned that these incidences could increase or escalate if budtenders are forced to work alone.
UFCW 1518 has sent a letter to Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and to city Councillors asking them to ensure that modernized cannabis retail regulations require at least two (2) staff members while stores are open.
Members of the BC Budtenders Union (a division of UFCW 1518) have the right to collectively negotiate minimum staffing levels into their contracts. The union is concerned that non-unionized budtenders will be put at risk if the bylaws change to allow managers to schedule budtenders to work alone.
If you are a budtender and would like to learn more about how joining a union can improve health & safety at work, go to ufcw1518.com/cannabis.