Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

The SQDC will permanently close a branch in Montreal< /p>Open in full screen mode

The SQDC at Plaza Saint-Hubert is the first to close its doors. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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La Société québécoise du cannabis ( SQDC) will permanently close the Plaza Saint-Hubert branch in Montreal, laying off 11 workers. This is a first for the state-owned company, which has never closed a branch before.

The management of the state corporation and the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), affiliated with the FTQ, which represents the majority of union members in the SQDC branches, both confirmed the information to The Canadian Press Tuesday.

The point of sale will be permanently closed from March 2. But the termination notices state that employment will end on March 23 to complete branch closure tasks.

Fabrice Giguère, spokesperson for the SQDC, says that this is simply a business decision and that things are going well at the SQDC.

According to Mr. Giguère, when leases expire, several options are available to the SQDC: Renew the lease without tenant improvements if the premises suit operational needs, renew the lease by making tenant improvements in order to better meet the needs of the organization, move the branch to a location that better meets its business needs or close the branch.

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After analyzing the situation, the SQDC made the decision to close permanently this branch since it no longer met the operational needs of the Company, he clarified.

The president of the union, David Clément, believes that this is a retaliatory measure because of the one and a half year strike which took place in several unionized CUPE branches .

We go there by deduction: if it is not because of profitability, if it is not because of traffic, if it is not because of shortage of labor, well, what we are left with is an employer who is a little shocked to have been forced to accept our wage demands, while He had been vehemently opposed to it for more than a year, said Mr. Clément.

The president of the union demands that the 11 dismissed members be able to fill one of the vacant positions in the other branches of the SQDC.

Because the SQDC continues its growth, we are hopeful that the employees affected by this decision will be able to find a new position, said Mr. Giguère by email.

A clause in the collective agreement already provides that an employee would have priority if he submitted his application if another position became available in the next six months, he replied.

However, the SQDC informed the union that, according to the employer's interpretation, this priority would not be granted only from March 3, 2024, the day after the branch closed to customers, denounces Mr. Clément.

It calls for this priority to be granted now, to avoid leaving the 11 workers affected by the closure in the dark as to their future. Discussions are still ongoing between the parties regarding the date of entry into force of the transfer priority, according to Mr. Giguère.

< em>With information from The Canadian Press

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