August 22, 2018 9:47 am
Updated: August 22, 2018 2:57 pm

SAQs across Quebec closed as employees walk off the job for 2nd strike day

Striking SAQ workers gather in front of Premier Philippe Couillard's Montreal office. Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2018.

David Sedell/Global News

Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) employees are holding a second one-day strike Wednesday, with 13 protests to be held across the province.

In Montreal, three simultaneous rallies were planned and culminated in a protest in front of Premier Philippe Couillard’s office on McGill College Avenue after noon.

READ MORE: Frustrated SAQ workers walk off the job

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In Quebec City, striking employees gathered in front of the national assembly.

Wednesday’s walkout was aimed at putting pressure on the province to force the Crown corporation to settle with its employees, who have been without a contract since March 2017.

READ MORE SAQ workers turn wine labels around as pressure tactic

In June, the workers voted 91 per cent in favour of holding the one-day strikes.

The main sticking points in the negotiations are weekend work hours and conditions for part-time employees.

Dominic Daigneault a spokesperson for the CSN — one of Quebec’s largest trade union federations — told Global News the SAQ is in good financial health, raking in more than $1billion each year in profits.

Daigneault explained those profits were made possible thanks to SAQ employees.

Daigneault said they were close to reaching an agreement, but said the employer needed to show good faith.

“Those workers deserve respect and we are here to tell the government ‘Do what you have to do'”, she said. “Enough is enough, those workers from the SAQ deserve a good collective agreement.”

READ MORE: SAQ workers vote in favour of six strike days

While most outlets are closed, some locations are being kept open by managers.

A list of open outlets is available on the SAQ website.

— With files from The Canadian Press

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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