It’s official: employees at the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) at the Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie branch in Montreal have voted to give their union a strike mandate.
The 21 workers, who are members of the Travailleurs unis de l’alimentation et du commerce (TUAC), voted unanimously in favour of the mandate. The main sticking point is salary.
Workers say they do more than sell cannabis products since they also have a social and health and safety mandate to advise clients. They also deplore the disparity in treatment between their members and employees of other Crown corporations comparable to the SQDC, such as the SAQ.
The two sides have held about 10 negotiation meetings to date. Several clauses of the collective agreement have been settled, but not those concerning salary, according to the union.
TUAC President Antonio Filato says his members were reluctant to vote in favor of a strike mandate, but they decided to go through with it in the hopes they would force the Quebec Government and the SQDC to make more money available to reach a settlement.
In addition to the Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie branch, TUAC also represents union members of the SQDC in the Rimouski and Mirabel branches. They are not affected by the strike mandate.
— With files from Global News’ Kalina Laframboise