If you're in Quebec, then hopefully, you're all stocked up on beer, wine, and spirits. As of Tuesday morning at 10 a.m., workers at the province's liquor stores, the SAQ, went on strike. The strike is slated to last six days and comes after failed contract negotiations.
The six days won't necessarily be taken consecutively, but rather, when "strategically convenient" for the union. For the time being, 60 of the 404 provincial stores remain open under operation by managers, 16 of which are in Montreal. This includes locations in downtown, Mile End, the Plateau, and Griffintown.
The 5,500 member union is negotiating on issues pertaining to hours, job security, and seniority. The SAQ wants full-time workers to take on more weekend hours, while also encouraging part-time vs. full-time employment to minimize the number of individuals entitled to receive benefits. Understandably, employees aren't too happy about these cuts.
Negotiations are slated to work out these issues and in the meantime, workers have been picketing outside of closed locations. It may be poor time for those visiting Montreal for the summer and looking to stock up on refreshing beverages. But don't forget that in Quebec, wine and beer is also available in local depanneurs and grocery stores. It might not be of the highest quality, but it's something.