Whole Foods workers deserve to be treated with respect and fairness. You deserve fair wages and benefits, job security and a schedule you can count on. You deserve real workplace improvements for your essential work, not fake appreciation events.

Joining UFCW 1518 means you have the power of a union behind you when fighting for what you deserve. Joining our union means we fight for fairness together, using the collective agreement, which defines your rights and outlines a process for ensuring you are treated with respect and dignity.

Your Rights

The most important thing to know is that every British Columbian has the right to join a union.

The Canada Labour Relations Code ensures you have the following legal rights:

You are free to decide to join or not join a union.

Your employer cannot fire you, suspend you, transfer you, lay you off, refuse to continue employing you, or otherwise discriminate against you for being involved with the process of forming a union.

You are free to express your views on unionization without reprisal.

Unionized Workers

You know when you will get a raise and how much it will be.

Non-Unionized Workers

Raises are not predictable or guaranteed.

Unionized Workers

You have a legal contract that protects your wages, benefits and working conditions.

Non-Unionized Workers

Your employer can make changes to wages, benefits or working conditions without your consent or input.

Unionized Workers

You can raise workplace concerns without fear for job security.

Non-Unionized Workers

Speaking up can have consequences.

Unionized Workers

You and your co-workers have a say about your contract.

Non-Unionized Workers

Management calls all the shots and makes all decisions.

Unionized Workers

You have the support of professional advocates and legal counsel.

Non-Unionized Workers

You must plead your own case.

Unionized Workers

You have fairness and respect at work.

Non-Unionized Workers

Respect depends on if you have a good manager.

Unionized Workers

You have security through a formal process to dispute unjust or arbitrary discipline.

Non-Unionized Workers

You can be unfairly disciplined or fired, for any reason, at any time.


Who is UFCW 1518?

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1518 is British Columbia’s largest private-sector union with more than 24,000 members in British Columbia and the Yukon. UFCW 1518 has offices located in New Westminster, Kelowna, and Victoria and represents workers in Retail, Food Processing, Healthcare and Professional Services. We represent workers at Clarity Cannabis, Potanicals, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Urban Fair, and Save-On-Foods, to name just a few.

In February of 2020, UFCW 1518 became the first union in Canada to unionize dispensary workers. The formation of BC Bud as a division of UFCW 1518 is part of our initiative to bring fairness to the cannabis industry and build worker power.

What positive changes can a union make to my job?

Union members get to decide what changes they want to make to their workplace. As your union, UFCW 1518 will negotiate with your employer on your behalf based on contract proposals that you come up with democratically. Here are some of the benefits that we have been negotiating for workers at other specialty goods stores:

  1. Better Wages – A union can negotiate a fair wage scale that provides workers with regular pre-approved wage increases! No need to ask for a raise anymore, they are guaranteed.
  2. Scheduling and Consistency – With a union, you will have a contract that will set out required notice periods for scheduling. The number of hours of work can be negotiated through bargaining and put into the collective agreement to ensure that there is consistency of hours and advanced warning for schedule changes.
  3. Professional advocacy and support – With a union, workers are not left on their own to deal with management. Union members have access to formal grievance procedures union representatives, labour lawyers, and Workers Compensation lawyers, as well as any other consultation your union determines is needed to help you solve your issues at work.
  4. Enforceable Employment Contact – All unionized workplaces have a mutually agreed upon employment contract known as a collective agreement. This collective agreement will secure the working conditions workers have today as well as all the improvement made during negotiation. Your employer is legally obligated to negotiate with your union in “good faith.”
  5. Fair treatment – The fight for fairness starts with workers gaining the power to change their working environment. Coming together with your fellow budtenders will give you all the power to make your jobs better for you and those who come after you. We are stronger together!

I am happy with the way things are now. Why do I need a union?

Securing what you have today into a legally binding contract ensures that what you like about your job stays that way even if there is a change of management and even ownership. Belonging to a union also creates a support network: Stewards, union representatives, negotiators and lawyers will be there to ensure your fair treatment at work.

Can I get fired for supporting a union?

No, that is illegal. No one can be terminated or harassed for supporting a union. However, in the unlikely event that a supporter is terminated because of their support for joining UFCW 1518, we will hire a lawyer to represent supporters at no cost to them. UFCW 1518 will not tolerate any employer violating workers’ rights and will take legal action if needed.

How do I join UFCW 1518?

Every British Columbian has the right to join a union. The unionizing process is designed by the government to be 100% confidential. Here’s what you need to do to join UFCW 1518:

  1. Connect with Us Confidentially
    Use our contact form or call us at 1-888-581-1518.
    We will get back to you as soon as possible to answer your questions about joining a union.
    Know that once you start the process of unionizing, your job is protected by the BC Labour Relations Board.
  2. Union Support Cards
    Working with staff from our union, you and the majority of your co-workers (45%) sign a support card indicating you would like the BC Labour Relations Board to hold a unionization vote at your workplace.
    This process is confidential. Your employer will never have the right to know who did or did not sign. Your employer cannot legally take action against anyone for signing a card.
  3. Secret Ballot Vote
    When a majority of your co-workers have signed a union card, the BC Labour Relations Board will hold a secret ballot vote to form a union at your workplace.
    Vote “Yes” to join the union!

How much does this cost?

There is no cost to join until you vote in your first collective agreement. Once that happens, your dues will be no more than 2% of your earnings. Since unions are non-profit organizations, your dues are 100% tax deductible. The higher wages, rights and benefits that come with unionization are well worth the small cost associated with joining!