Quebec Liquor Corp. warehouse staff ratify contract

by The Canadian Press (CPSTF)

Quebec’s liquor corporation (SAQ) says its warehouse workers have ratified a new contract, but it will be a few weeks more before store shelves are full again.

Union members voted 86.3 percent in favour of the offer, with voting held in Quebec City and Montreal last week.

Catherine Dagenais, the liquor corporation’s chief executive officer, says in a statement the approval of the deal allows it to focus on restocking its own 400 outlets and those of business partners, but it will take a few more weeks until things return to normal.

The new deal comes after a few strike days that led to depleted shelves and delivery days, as well as the rejection of an initial agreement reached on Nov. 29.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees says in a statement it agreed to a six-year contract that provides three percent yearly wage increase. The employees also agreed to a new work arrangement that will permit warehouses to remain open on the weekend.

Wages, overtime and the precarious status of employees had been the main sticking points in negotiations with the union representing the Crown corporation’s 800 warehouse and delivery employees.