Some 800 union members with the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) have announced that a strike will begin tomorrow morning at 5am. The union discovered a scheme by management whereby they would use scabs to get around the law and avoid negotiating in good faith.
“The use of scabs by a Crown Corporation in Quebec is totally unacceptable. First all, it is illegal and we have begun legal proceedings. Secondly and more importantly, what example is the government setting for our companies if it allows one of its Crown Corporations to use replacement workers,” asked Joël Latour, president of the Syndicat des travailleurs et travailleuses de la SAQ (CUPE 3535).
The strike will break the supply chain in warehouses and halt the delivery of products to outlets.
“The management of the SAQ has forced our hand. Employee salaries are no longer competitive, and members have to work too many hours of overtime due to the labour shortage, which has caused occupational health and safety problems. Management has refused to look into this issue, and they haven’t serious at the bargaining table,” said Michel Gratton, CUPE union representative.
Last November 16, employees in the warehouses and those responsible for delivering products to SAQ outlets across Quebec called a surprise 24-hour strike. Members voted 94 per cent in favour of strike action and have been without a contract since April 1, 2021.