May 26, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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SAQ.com’s Automation: Employees defy SAQ’s Amazon Vision

SAQ.com's Automation: Employees defy SAQ's Amazon Vision

Employees of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) blamed the state corporation’s “Amazon-like” vision, which plans to implement a new automated system for orders at its distribution center in Montreal.

“We do not want Quebec alcohol to work for Amazon!” SAQ Store and Office Employees Union (SEMB-SAQ-CSN) President Lisa Courtmanche said in a statement.

On May 5, it was learned that the employees responsible for the SAQ.com platform would be transferred to the main warehouse of the Montreal distribution center and they would change their union accreditation.

Employees blamed SAQ's Amazon Vision

Jean-Michel Genoese Gagnon

The union believes the restructuring, the first effects of which will be felt in September, could eventually lead to the loss of “quality jobs in Quebec”.

“All 53 regular employees have no job guarantee and even less than 150 part-timers. This is not acceptable! “, Lamented M.Me Court.

According to our information, part-time employees are most affected. Can be allocated to many other tasks, especially in stores.

The proposal was rejected

The union rejected SAQ’s initial proposal, saying it would “only allow a portion of its 200 workers to transfer to new facilities.”

The President instead proposed a policy “based on decentralization of operations” that would prevent the bringing of Montreal bottles already available in the regions. This limits the environmental impacts for the transportation of goods.

“We want to consult: we have solutions that allow for more human development,” she said.Me Court.

No cuts

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Last year, as part of its 2021-2023 modernization plan, SAQ announced a $ 45.8 million investment over two decades to expand and modernize its facilities in the metropolis.

The project will eventually increase the online product offer to 20,000 and allow one day delivery. As of Friday, SAQ.COM had 2,685 wines and spirits.

The state-owned company guarantees the need for all affected employees to prepare orders and serve customers in its branches due to labor shortages.

“The consolidation of our unit picking operations is done without job loss,” spokesman Clemens Beaulieu Zandron replied.

“Our site dedicated to preparing online orders is operating at full capacity and does not allow us to respond to the increase in online sales,” she added.

SEMB-SAQ – CSN Quebec has 5,500 members.