After four days of negotiations, the Society des Alcoles du Quebec (SAQ) and 800 salaried warehouse workers, as well as their union responsible for distributing the bottles, signed a new agreement in principle on Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, customers coming to the branches are still in front of the bare shelves.
“We are pleased that SAQ and the union have passed the resolution [mardi] In principle an agreement, we can read in the press release issued by the Crown Corporation. The union will present details of the deal to employees of distribution centers in Quebec City this Friday and this Saturday in Montreal. We will let employees decide on the offer we submit and will let you know any useful information in the coming days. ”
“After further negotiations following the rejection, the negotiating committee is confident and eager to present the results of the latest negotiations to the General Assembly,” said Joel Latour, president of SAQ’s Union of Workers.
Last week, union members rejected 86 percent of the initial agreement, forcing both parties to return to the negotiating table. About 800 salaried workers from two SAQ warehouses, as well as those responsible for distributing the bottles, went on strike on November 16, 22 and 23. Salary, job security and occupational health and safety measures are among the major issues in dispute. The two distribution centers in Montreal and Quebec City supply the Crown Corporation’s 409 branches and 429 agencies. The last collective agreement expired on the 1stIs April 2021.
Despite the return of distribution center employees, SAQ branches are struggling to replenish their shelves. In an interview with Press Last week, SAQ’s President and Chief Executive Officer Catherine Dagenice confirmed that replenishing branches was her priority. She said there will be no shortage of wine for consumers during Christmas. “The purpose is to have the right stocks for the holiday season. Normal product may not be available. But we have a lot of products. ”
Restaurants, for their part, are gradually beginning to replenish their stocks, Martin Vegina, director of public and public affairs at the association Restaurant Quebec (ARQ), confirmed Tuesday. In recent weeks, they have had to deal with delays in delivery. “The catch was done this week,” he said. Some were still waiting for their orders, he agreed, [mais] There are so many attempts to catch up [le retard]. ⁇
Frederick Lauren, a professor of economics at the University of Quebec in Trois-Rivieres (UQTR), said he was shocked to see the state corporation taking the time to fill its shelves. “SAQ must serve more than 400 branches,” he recalled. This is big logistics. ”
Over the past few days, SAQ and the Union have made some public comments about supplies. He said he wanted to focus on the negotiations.