April 22nd, 2024

Quebec SAQ liquor store employees give green light for limited strike

By The Canadian Press on March 2, 2024.

A customer leaves an SAQ outlet Thursday, January 6, 2022 in Deux-Montagnes, Quebec. Members of a union representing more than 5,000 Quebec liquor store employees have voted in favour of a strike amid stalled negotiations that union leadership says have dragged on for a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

MONTREAL – Members of a union representing more than 5,000 Quebec liquor store employees have voted in favour of a strike amid stalled negotiations that union leadership says have dragged on for a year.

The labour group made the announcement this morning after a series of general assemblies in which 89 per cent of participants approved a limited walkout totalling 15 days.

The union, Syndicat des employés de magasins et de bureaux de la Société des alcools du Québec, has not said if it plans to use those days, nor whether they would be consecutive.

Union vice-president Alexandre Bolduc says work-life balance and workplace health and safety are among the main issues at stake in the labour dispute.

He says employees of the Société des alcools du Québec, or SAQ, currently lack training to deal with what he describes as an increase in the number of aggressive customers in urban stores since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SAQ says it is keeping track of the situation and has a plan to maintain service in the event of a strike, but the company is encouraging customers to check online in case stores close.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2024.

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