//Union leader outs location of secret Ontario cannabis warehouse

Union leader outs location of secret Ontario cannabis warehouse

The head of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union has apparently revealed the secret location of the Ontario Cannabis Store warehouse — as well as the identity of the private company operating it — following an incident in which he claims police were called on a union representative who was at the site.


OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas: “We went by and knocked on the door and started talking to some workers about a union. We want to get them in the union one way or another.”

Mark Blinch / Canadian Press file photo

In a press release Tuesday, OPSEU president Warren (Smokey) Thomas said the Ford government had called Halton Regional Police to a “privately operated cannabis warehouse” on Plymouth Drive in Oakville, Ont., in order to stop workers at the warehouse from talking to an OPSEU representative.

“Calling in officers from Halton Regional Police to stop OPSEU from talking to these workers is not only a complete waste of police resources, it also violates their right to join a union,” Thomas said. “This isn’t a security issue. Our staff have a right to be there.”

The union leader said he was tipped off about the location of the cannabis warehouse from a newspaper reporter, and after some digging confirmed that it was indeed the location in Oakville. “We went by and knocked on the door and started talking to some workers about a union. We want to get them in the union one way or another,” he said.

Thomas estimated — but could not confirm — that approximately 100 people were employed at the warehouse.

“For me this is not just about getting more OPSEU members. There’s so much money in the cannabis world and these workers should be paid a living wage, with benefits and a pension,” Thomas said.

Simon Jefferies, director of media relations at the Premier’s office, called OPSEU’s allegation that Ford had called the police on union workers a “complete lie.”

Halton Regional Police could not be reached to confirm the incident.

Thomas says his organization “100 per cent” confirmed the location was indeed the OCS warehouse after a visit to the site, where union representatives spoke to a “number of workers.”

“Some of them said they want to unionize,” he added.

The provincial government has deliberately kept the location of the Ontario Cannabis Store warehouse under wraps, citing security reasons. Currently, the OCS online store is the only place Ontarians can purchase cannabis for recreational use. All licensed producers with supply agreements with the province send their product to an OCS warehouse, before the provincial retailer puts them up for sale.

OCS Director of Communications Daffyd Roderick would not confirm if the address on the OPSEU press release was indeed the location of the OCS warehouse.

“Details of the distribution centre are undisclosed for security reasons and will not be publicly announced or confirmed. The OCS does not disclose security details as a matter of policy,” he said in an emailed statement to the Financial Post.

The OPSEU statement also named Domain Logistics as the contractor running the private cannabis warehouse. Calls to Domain Logistics were not returned by press time.

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