SQDC and trade union say they have reached an agreement, pending review from union members

| Staff

The SQDC say they have reached an agreement with the Confederation of National Trade Unions (CSN) as of June 23.

The details of this agreement are expected to be presented by the union to the employees at a general meeting where they will have the opportunity to discuss and consider the SQDC’s offer. 

A representative for the CSN says they cannot provide additional comment at this time until after its members have had a chance to consider the offer.

Members of the SQDC–CSN Employees’ Union took part in the third of five planned walk-out days on June 22. 

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), representing other striking SQDC workers, first called a general strike on Friday, May 20 after first threatening one in February.

Employees at 13 SQDC branches held a recent one-day walkout on Saturday, June 18 and held a previous walkout on June 8.

“We chose this day to smoke out the Treasury Board in Quebec City while our salary negotiations remain in a fog that we want to clear up as soon as possible,” said Maxime Nadeau, the president of the union.

“Our negotiations continue to stall on the issue of wages and the employer is slow to table a respectable salary offer for all of us.”

Nadeau says that their employees are seeking a wage increase to bring SQDC employees in line with wages at the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ). Employees at the SQDC start at  $17.12 per hour. The union says it can take eight years to reach a wage of $21.23 per hour.

“To attract and retain employees in an organization, the offer of good wages and good working conditions is decisive,” says Katia Lelièvre, vice-president of the CSN. “This is why the members of the SDQC union are always demanding pay parity with the SAQ, my employer for 21 years already.

“These employees perform essentially the same work as us and yet a disparity in treatment of more than 38% still remains between us, and this, from the first salary step. When we know that Catherine Dagenais, CEO of the SAQ, receives an annual salary of $453,952, we say to ourselves that those who are the source of this wealth should receive their fair share.”

The Union of SQDC–CSN employees represents nearly 200 union members in some fifteen branches.

Other provinces

Workers at all nine The Joint Cannabis Shop locations in Winnipeg, Manitoba have voted to unionize this week, as well. The vote to join UFCW Local 832 makes The Joint the first unionized, private-sector cannabis retail chain in Manitoba.

The Joint has roughly 100 workers, including management that will join UFCW. The Union says they will soon reach out to the owner of The Joint to ask for bargaining dates and start the process of working towards their first collective agreement.

“I want to congratulate these young workers for taking this first step,” said Jeff Traeger, President of UFCW Local 832. “We look forward to working together to improve their workplace and bring them the fairness they deserve.”

In British Columbia, the budtenders union—a division of the UFCW 1518—has signed on workers at several retail stores, too.