780 employees working in Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) warehouses and those responsible for delivering products to SAQ retail outlets across Quebec called a surprise 24-hour strike at 9:30 am this morning.
“The lack of seriousness by management at the bargaining table has forced us to walk out to show that we are determined and that we want to resolve occupational health and safety problems caused by labour shortages. Wages are no longer competitive, and those still on the job have to work too much overtime,” said Joël Latour, president of the Syndicat des travailleurs et travailleuses de la SAQ (CUPE 3535).
Members voted 94 per cent in favour of pressure tactics up to strike action. The supply chain will thus be broken until tomorrow morning.
“We are a crucial link in the chain that drives this Crown Corporation, and we’re the least well paid by far in terms of overall compensation. Something must be done to rectify the situation. Members are mobilized and motivated to get this done,” added Michel Gratton.
SAQ’s sales total $4 billion, and close to $2 billion is sent to the government to finance our public services.
SAQ was designated an essential service during the pandemic, and all members of CUPE 3535 continued to work tirelessly under difficult conditions.
Their last collective agreement expired on April 1, 2021.