Lightning strike at the SAQ

Grève surprise à la SAQ

MONTREAL — The union of the 5500 employees of shops and offices of the Société des alcools du Québec has triggered a strike “surprise” Sunday morning.

The activities of some 400 branches of the SAQ, therefore, have been disrupted by the third day of a walkout since mid-July. In response, the management of the SAQ has announced that it is maintaining a sixty branches open.

Workers have also planned another strike for a day on Monday. This means that the union will have a further two days of strike available in his mandate to the workers.

The press release issued by the Federation of employees in public services (FEESP), which represents the staff of the SAQ, argues that employees are ” frustrated before the refusal to move of their employer “.

Activities of picketing and distribution of leaflets were also provided in the framework of the day of the strike surprise.

“The effect of surprise, it is for the employer. As it’s just two days, we imagine that consumers are able to encourage microbreweries and the local wine producers who sell at their vineyard, ” said the union president Katia Lelièvre.

According to Ms. Lelièvre, the strategy is not to aim days pay for the SAQ by targeting the Sunday and Monday, but instead of bothering the executives leave.

“As it boasts many of the reconciliation of work and family, we want to show them what it’s like to not have to leave because that is what the majority of our employees live,” she explains.

During the previous work stoppage at the end of August, the prime minister Philippe Couillard had said they did not want to be involved in the negotiation at the SAQ, even if the union considers that the prime minister is the “real boss” of the State-owned company. Mr. Couillard has refuted this argument, reminding us that the SAQ is managed by an autonomous board of directors.

“We don’t have the right to challenge the government during the election campaign, but I invite when even Mr. Couillard to read the laws. In the act, it is the Treasury Board that gives the rules to the SAQ, and it is he who must approve the agreement that we will sign, ” quipped Ms. Lelièvre for the outgoing prime minister.

The two parties should return to the bargaining table Tuesday. The union regrets, however, the rigidity of the position, employer, arguing that ” the context in which the SAQ wants to negotiate is too tight.”

The collective bargaining agreement has expired for nearly 21 months.

In a press release issued in reaction to the strike on Sunday, the SAQ claims to have withdrawn its application, to transform a hundred of vacancies in quarter two days of the end of the week.

The State-owned company is also said to have submitted new proposals regarding the work-family balance and job insecurity.

According to the employer, the dispute relates to currently the wage increases.

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