New agreement in principle reached in SAQ

And the Audit Bureau agreed again, on Tuesday evening, to a preliminary agreement to end the labor dispute, which is opposed by about 800 employees in warehouses, after rejecting the first agreement last week.

“After extensive renegotiations since the rejection, the negotiating committee is confident and eager to bring the results of recent talks to a public meeting,” said Joel Latour, SAQ union president.

The new agreement will be presented to workers at the distribution center in Quebec on Friday, and then to workers in Montreal on Saturday.

“We will allow employees to make the decision on the offer to be made to them and will inform you of any useful information in the coming days,” SAQ briefly commented in a press release, saying it was pleased with this outcome.

On December 6, warehouse workers 86% rejected the tentative agreement in principle, which they secured the previous week at the last minute before resuming an indefinite strike.

Since November, the workers have organized a strike for a few days, before calling for an indefinite general strike, and quickly turn off the background with a truce meant to give negotiations a chance. Union employees in particular are demanding big pay increases, claiming they are paid less than their fellow branch workers.

For its part, the SAQ is keen to avoid a prolonged strike, especially in the lead-up to the holidays. Already, the disturbances caused by the workers’ pressing methods made the branches find themselves with bare shelves.

Grocery stores, restaurants and bars are also affected by the labor dispute, while the Union québécoise des microdistilleries has taken advantage of the conflict to demand, once again, that the government scrap the tax on home sales of up to 52%.

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