Superior Court of Quebec issues injunction to limit union “pressure tactics” against SQDC

| Staff

The Superior Court of Quebec has issued an interim injunction order aimed at limiting certain strike actions currently aimed at some Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) locations. 

The injunction order is aimed at controlling demonstrations or picketing in order to ensure that illegal or illegitimate “pressure tactics” are not taken by union members.

This is the third such decision rendered by the Superior Court of Quebec since June 23. In August, the Administrative Labor Tribunal (TAT) issued an order declaring a strike at the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC)’s Aylmer retail location illegal. 

“The SQDC recognizes the right of association and the right of employees to exercise the means of pressure provided for in the laws in force,” notes the crown corporation in a press release. “The order supports the Company’s desire to provide a safe environment for its employees and customers to carry out its mission of converting the illegal market.”

CUPE 5454 (The Canadian Union of Public Employees) is one of the unions that has been representing employees of some province-run SQDC cannabis stores. The union called a general strike in May of this year in response to the suspension of the president and vice-president of the union, along with 75 employees. 

The union is calling for better working conditions and wages for their 300 members currently employed in 27 SQDC branches. CUPE notes that the SQDC is a profitable and growing company that earned a net profit of more than $66 million in the most recent fiscal year. 

The SQDC says they hope to reach a negotiated agreement to the satisfaction of all parties involved, and it is available to sit down at the negotiating table at any time. The SQDC reached an agreement last June with the CSN and the 17 branches it represents.

According to the SQDC, there are currently 90 SQDC retail stores, about half of which are not unionized. The current labour dispute affects only 22 of the 28 branches represented by CUPE. The employees of these branches have been on strike since May 30. Two of the 28 CUPE branches, St-Nicolas and Alma, have opted not to go on strike.

All branches, including those facing job actions, are still currently operating, but often with reduced hours.

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