The workers at one of Lufa Farms’s greenhouses have formed a union. The new Local 501 of the Travailleurs unis de l’alimentation et du commerce, affiliated with the FTQ, encompasses about 15 employees who work in the Laval greenhouse, in maintenance or harvesting. But the union says it has ambitions to unionize other workplaces.
Lufa Farms has four greenhouses in the Montreal area, with three others in Ahuntsic, Anjou and St-Laurent. It grows produce on building rooftops and has formed partnerships with local producers.
Issues at the forefront for the new union include workplace health and safety, internal promotions based on seniority, salaries and having a say in the company, said Sami Dellah, a union representative. He said the pandemic and buy local campaigns have increased demand for local agricultural products.
“When we see a large enterprise put a lot of money into growth, we say, as workers: the family atmosphere we had, maybe we have to rethink that.” He hopes to begin negotiating a first collective agreement with the Laval workers soon, and has ambitions for other establishments.
“We want to do unions differently,” he said. “We want a global approach.”
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