National labor board to hear complaint from Maine medical marijuana workers

February 27th, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

Posted: 10:46 AM
Updated: 2:10 PM

Employees of Wellness Connection say they were retaliated against for trying to join a union.

By Eric Russell
Staff Writer

The National Labor Relations Board has agreed to hear a complaint by workers of a Maine company that operates four medical marijuana dispensaries who say they were retaliated against for trying to join a union.

The complaint before the national labor board involves 10 alleged instances in which Wellness Connection violated the National Labor Relations Act and the rights of its employees.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

It is the first time the national board has recognized that federal labor laws apply to employees in the medical marijuana industry.

Last February, workers at a marijuana cultivation site in Auburn operated by Wellness Connection of Maine walked out in protest over the use of pesticides. That led employees to allege additional complaints over safety and working conditions, as well as allegations that supervisors interfered with workers’ interest in joining the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents medical marijuana workers in six other states.

“Only by sticking together, we were able to find the strength to speak out about the gross violations that we saw at work,” Jenifer Moody, a former Wellness employee, said in a statement. “By fighting for our union, we are protecting our customers and shaping the medical marijuana industry into a safe and well-regulated industry that provides good

Article source: