Missouri marijuana retailer Shangri-La to pay $145K settlement in union dispute

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The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has approved a settlement in which Missouri marijuana retailer Shangri-La Dispensaries must pay more than $145,000 to resolve 15 charges of unfair labor practices.

The charges, which the NLRB said covered “dozens of unfair labor practice allegations” at Shangri-La South in Columbia, Missouri, had been set to go to trial at the end of October.

“Shangri-La agreed to offer reinstatement to five employees and to pay more than $145,000 which includes backpay, front pay, interest, and compensation for direct or foreseeable pecuniary harm to a total of 10 employees who were terminated following a March 2023 union organizing drive,” the NLRB said in a news release.

Among other measures, the NLRB said Shangri-La must also:

  • Recognize and bargain with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 655.
  • Read remedial notices to employees at shift meetings and share the notice electronically.
  • Send managers and supervisors to an NLRB training about employee rights.

The company must also “rescind alleged unilateral changes it made after UFCW Local 655 filed a petition for representation covering Shangri-La’s employees at its South location,” according to the release.

UFCW Local 655 President David Cook told Columbia TV station KMIZ that the union planned to start working with employees on a bargaining agreement to offer Shangri-La.

“Cook said he rarely sees workers receive as much from the NLRB as those involved in this case have,” KMIZ reported.

In May, nine current or former employees at Shangri-La South said they were disciplined or fired after organizing a petition drive to join the UFCW Local 655.

Although management denied the allegations, the current and former employees filed complaints alleging violations of federal labor law.

Shangri-La, a subsidiary of Point Management, has two other retail locations in Missouri and four in Ohio, with plans to open outlets in Connecticut, Illinois and South Dakota, according to the company’s website.

Employees at other Missouri cannabis businesses have also voted to join the UFCW, including those at Bloom Medicinals in O’Fallon and Root 66 in St. Louis.

Workers at Kansas City, Missouri, marijuana retailer Homestate Dispensary recently voted to join the  International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 955.