Unionized Quebec pot store employees issue strike mandate over salaries
In a year of firsts, Quebec's provincially owned cannabis shops have their first strike mandate from a group of unionized workers.
The 21 unionized employees at the store in Montreal's Rosemont-Petite-Patrie neighbourhood voted unanimously in favour of giving union leadership a mandate for a general and unlimited strike.
Wages are at the heart of the labour dispute, the starting wage at the stores are $14 an hour.
A representative of the United Food and Commercial Workers-Quebec, which represents the workers, says the job is not like others in Canadian retail, they sell a unique product and have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of their clientele.
Antonio Filato said the union hopes the dispute can be settled through arbitration before it becomes necessary to exercise the strike mandate. Management at the SQDC did not return calls seeking comment.
Filato argues that while management at the provincial cannabis corporation, known as the SQDC, compares its salaries with that of the Quebec Liquor Corp., that isn't the case for its staff.