August 12, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

No to “Quebec Alcohol Amazon”

No to "Quebec Alcohol Amazon"

Employees of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) have condemned the government agency’s “Amazon-like” vision of planning to implement a new automation 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 press release.

Employees blamed SAQ's Amazon Vision

Photo by Jean-Michel Genoese Gagnon

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.

The union believes the restructuring, the first of which will be felt by 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! Ms. Courtmey lamented.

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 said it had rejected SAQ’s initial proposal, “allowing only a portion of its 200 workers to relocate 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.

Employees blamed SAQ's Amazon Vision

Photo by Jean-Michel Genoese Gagnon

“We want to consult: we have solutions that allow for more human development,” Ms. Courtmanche said.

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No job losses

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. Friday had 2,685 wines and spirits SAQ.com.

The government-owned company assured that due to the shortage of manpower, all affected employees would be required to handle order preparation and serve customers in its branches.

“The integration of our unit picking operations will be done without losing jobs,” spokesman Clemens Beaulieu Zandron replied.

“Our site dedicated to making online orders is working 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.