Canada- British Columbia: budtender re-hired after being fired for pushing for unionization

Niko Kruzel was axed after contacting the BC Budtender Union regarding scheduling, pay and not receiving benefits

Mugglehead reports

After pushing for unionization due to poor scheduling, wages and benefits, budtender Niko Kruzel was fired. But as of Friday, he will go back to work as a union member.

In a statement Friday, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union B.C. local 1518 (UFCW 1518) said its British Columbia Budtender Union division was contacted by Kruzel and his fellow budtenders regarding issues with scheduling, as well as inconsistent and low pay, and not receiving benefits, while working at Burnside Buds in Victoria, B.C.

“I would say health benefits being promised but never delivered was a big one, and then the schedule was really getting messed around and has been in the last two months,” Kruzel said in a phone call with Mugglehead.

“It’s just bad management. There was a manager who was hired there, who was telling people to come in without masks and stuff, and it just was a bit of a disaster.”

Read more: BC’s paid sick leave must include gig, contract workers, union argues

Read more: Victoria private cannabis workers first to unionize in Canada

Kruzel says he was hired in May and had never received any write-ups or complaints from his boss, but three days after he and his coworkers voted for unionization, he received a late-night message from the owner firing him for “lack of trust and poor work ethic.”

He told the union he was shocked when he received the message, and thinks it was a “knee-jerk” reaction from his employer.



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