Skip to Main Content

13 More SQDC Branches on Strike

Employees at 13 more SQDC branches went on strike on Wednesday, June 8 over what they believe are low salaries. This adds to the tally of SQDC walkouts following strikes at 22 other SQDC branches in late May after the indefinite walkout of nearly 300 CUPE members.

These 300 members have been on strike since May 20 of this year. CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) represents these union members in 26 branches with 22 of those branches currently affected by that walkout.

The Confédération des syndicats or CSN-affiliated union workers took to the picket lines Wednesday but SQDC’s management claims that CSN’s “one-off” strike will not prevent the opening of branches affected by the new strike, as managers will be able to take care of the public “day in and day out.”

However, CSN countered that claim by saying that it did not know if its own walkout would last a single day. The Federation of Public Service Employees’ Union Society, which is affiliated with CSN, represents about 200 union members in the Quebec cannabis industry.

Hope of a Resolution

SCFP-FTQ (Syndicat canadien de la fonction publique) reports that its members earn $ 17 per hour. The management of SQDC confirms that it has planned negotiations with the two unions and the SQDC management are hopeful that an agreement can be reached.

In the case of these 22 branches affected by the indefinite strike, the opening hours have been revised. “These 22 branches are open, but are on a reduced schedule to give some leeway to managers who operate only in their branch,” SQDC management said.

According to SQDC management the other 54 SQDC (Société québécoise du cannabis) branches were not affected by the unions’ pressure tactics and the government-owned cannabis retailer (which is a subsidiary of the SAQ or the Société des alcools du Québec) reminded customers that they can also order their products online.

Seeking Equality With SAQ

The reason for the strikes appears to be mainly about wages. Both trade unions are demanding that their members be treated the same as the employees of SAQ, where they also represent the employees.

Tags: cannabis (19), Cannabis Retail (206), cannabis unions (1), CSN (1), CUPE (2), Quebec cannabis (5), SQDC (20), strike (1), workers' rights (2)