SQDC ratifies agreement with some Quebec cannabis store workers

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Quebec’s government-owned Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) cannabis retail monopoly ratified an agreement in principle with a group of workers represented by one union, although a strike by workers represented by another union remains unresolved.

The SQDC has reached an agreement with the Confédération des syndicats nationaux (CSN) union, which has been adopted by workers at 15 out of 16 stores represented by the group, an agency spokesperson confirmed to MJBizDaily.

Workers at those stores went on strike earlier this month.

The agreement includes salary increases, changes to work schedules and team leader bonuses, among other things, according to CSN.

Meanwhile, retail workers at 22 out of 24 SQDC stores represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) are still on strike, according to the SQDC spokesperson.

That strike began in late May, after the union said leaders and 75 employees were suspended for violating the retailer’s dress code as a “pressure tactic.”

When the strike began, SQDC said the stores remained open but on a reduced schedule.

CUPE said its SQDC members wanted salaries and benefits comparable to workers at the Société des alcools du Québec, the province’s government-owned alcohol monopoly.

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Forty-seven of SQDC’s retail locations are not unionized, the retailer’s spokesperson told MJBizDaily.

Quebecers spent 50.2 million Canadian dollars (roughly $39 million) on cannabis from the SQDC in April, making it the fourth-largest provincial marijuana market in Canada, according to the latest Statistics Canada data.