Third of five strike days voted on by union members on June 5, and comes the weekend of the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Montreal, when stores are particularly crowded.
Crown said in an email that the only branch that closed as of Saturday afternoon was in the Quebec City neighborhood of Saint-Foy, where managers were handling services in dozens more.
Maxime Nadeau, president of the National Trade Union Confederation, said the strike was related to stalled negotiations over wages. He said the employee start-up rate is $17.12 an hour, rising to $21.23 an hour after eight years in the job.
“We have a ridiculous salary offer on the table, even insulting, so obviously we are asking for parity with the SAQ (Societe des alcools du Quebec),” he said in a phone interview.trending stories
Nadeau quotes Prime Minister François Legault, who warned on June 12 that with a persistent labor shortage, “companies that are unable to pay salaries above $15 or $20 (an hour) will run into problems.”
Nadeau added in a statement that the union, which represents about 200 employees spread over 16 branches of government-owned cannabis stores, had deliberately chosen the weekend “when traffic is very high” to begin labor work.
The Quebec cannabis company, known as SQDC, said in an email that it “fully recognizes the right of employees to exercise pressure tactics in the context of ongoing negotiations.”
“The company remains ready to continue negotiations and our desire to reach a negotiated agreement that satisfies the parties involved.”
SQDC, a subsidiary of SAQ, is responsible for the distribution and sale of marijuana products in Quebec.