A labor dispute is emerging at the SQDC
Meeting in a general meeting on Sunday evening, the members of the Union of SQDC-CSN employees voted for a bank of five strike days to be used at the time deemed appropriate.
The union leaders are demanding wages and benefits similar to those offered in other state corporations, such as the Société des alcools du Québec.
“Since the beginning of our negotiations, we have been demanding parity with our colleagues from the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) who do much the same work as us,” said Maxime Nadeau, president of the union.
There is indeed a salary disparity of more than 38% between the employees of the SAQ and those of the SQDC, right from the first salary step. The salary offered when hiring an SQDC employee is $17.46 per hour.
83% of employees accepted the use of the bank of strike days after an electronic vote held by secret ballot.
Wearing-bermudas as a means of pressure
The employees of some fifteen branches of the SQDC launched an indefinite general strike on May 30. They had given themselves a strike mandate last February.
Employees of the Crown corporation then decided to wear Bermuda shorts in branches as a means of pressure. According to the union, management responded to the call by distributing disciplinary notices to several of its employees.
“The management of the SQDC multiplies the maneuvers of intimidation towards its employees in means of pressure, while they are only showing their impatience in the face of an employer party that does not take their negotiation seriously,” said Stéphanie Gratton, Vice-President of the FEESP-CSN.
The Union of SQDC-CSN employees represents nearly 200 union members in about fifteen of branches.