Members with the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC), who have been on strike for nine months now, learned that the employer’s net income in the third quarter was up 22.2% over the same period last year.
The union maintains that the failure to act by the SQDC and the CAQ government has driven some of the clientele, who had adopted the SQDC as their cannabis supplier, back to the illegal drug trade.
“It is inconceivable that a Crown Corporation raking in those kinds of profits is not able to pay its staff decent wages. We believe in our work and its mission, which is to integrate consumers to the legal cannabis market and reduce crime. Unfortunately, the employer is neglecting negotiations, which is detrimental to the interests of everyone, particularly our members,” said David Clément, President of the CUPE 5454, the union representing SQDC employees.
The employer’s last offer on December 6, 2022 was rejected by 94% of the membership in 26 outlets, 17 of which voted unanimously to reject the offer. The employer has not made a counter offer since that time, even though the union has clearly shown it was available to negotiate.
CUPE 5454 is the largest union in the SQDC and the only one currently negotiating for wages befitting cannabis counsellors.