The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents the employees, issued a press release Wednesday morning announcing a truce after workers had been on strike for two days.
"We don't want to hold SAQ customers hostage and since we are finally seeing some progress at the negotiation table, we agree to suspend the strike for a few days to give the talks a last chance," said CUPE representative Michel Gratton in the release.
"The union negotiating committee will put all its energy toward the bargaining table to reach an agreement before Monday."
This strike has led to breaks in the SAQ's supply chain and disrupted regular product deliveries. Quebecers have even posted photos and videos of near-empty shelves at SAQ stores.
So what's CUPE's reason for striking in the first place?
"The management of the SAQ has forced our hand. Employee salaries are no longer competitive, and members have to work too many hours of overtime due to the labour shortage, which has caused occupational health and safety problems. Management has refused to look into this issue, and they haven't [been] serious at the bargaining table," Gratton said in a statement.
CUPE also said it "discovered a scheme by management" that planned to use scabs, or replacement workers, to "get around the law and avoid negotiating in good faith."
Joel Latour, president of the Syndicat des travailleurs et travailleuses de la SAQ, spoke out on the issue by criticizing the government for turning a blind eye to illegal practices and setting a bad example for other companies.
"It is illegal and we have begun legal proceedings," he said.
The SAQ also went on a surprise 24-hour strike on November 16. CUPE said union members — who have been working without contracts since April — voted 94% in favour of strike action.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
For countless years, well-known spirits brand, Bombay Sapphire, has taken even the pickiest gin lovers on a delightful taste and sensory journey.
Recently, they set their sights on creating a diverse range of premium gins, the newest addition to which is Bombay Bramble — an eye-catching, crimson-coloured gin created with 100% natural fruit flavours.
Rather than using artificial flavours, colours and added sugar after distillation, Bombay Bramble is instead made with freshly harvested blackberries and raspberries for a rich fruit infusion and a bold new gin.
A versatile, ruby-hued gin with fruity summer flavours obviously sounds delicious, but does it live up to the hype? I decided to try Bombay Bramble for myself and share my thoughts.
First up, it's good to know that a 750 ml bottle of Bombay Bramble is widely available around Montreal. You can get it at the SAQ for $29.95, and it has an alcohol level of 43%.
I decided to try it by itself over ice first so that I could taste all of its subtle flavours. After my first sip, I noticed how dry Bombay Bramble is compared to the overly sweet (in my opinion) flavoured gins I'm used to. So on that front, I was pleasantly surprised.
As for its aroma, Bombay Bramble smells quite strongly of blackberries and raspberries, with subtle notes of juniper berry, coriander and a hint of lemon zest. The natural botanicals are expertly captured, giving this well-balanced gin a fresh, crisp taste.
The Ciel en Fête hot air balloon festival in Quebec is floating its way through Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu next month, accompanied by a host of activities, including yoga, a Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) picnic and an illuminated night show.
In the event of good weather, the hot air balloon festival will take place every weekend during the month of August.
The festival will host two free yoga sessions at dawn, where you can practice your downward-facing dog surrounded by breathtaking floating hot air balloons.
The SAQ'scinq à sept style Pique-nique découverte allows you to picnic beneath the balloon-dotted sky. Tickets include a basket with a selection of wines or bubbles from Quebec, paired with agrifood products from the region.
Night Glow on August 7 will create a hot air balloon spectacle under the stars, illuminated in the likeness of Chinese lanterns, which you can view through your car.
On several dates, two professional acrobatic divers will perform extreme dives from a hot air balloon in mid-flight — they'll be jumping 20 to 25 metres, equivalent to an 8-storey building, and diving into the water below.
Food trucks and beer will be available at the free Budweiser tailgate on August 14, where you'll be able to watch the Volaria aerial festival.
Reservations for each activity are required, but entrance is free for most events.
The SAQ will be closed on Thursday. The company also said most of its stores will close at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, "with the exception of SAQ 20 h branches, which will close at 8 p.m., and SAQ Express branches, which will close at 9 p.m."
Espace pour la vie properties (the Biodome, Botanical Garden and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium) will be open.
The STM will operate on a holiday schedule. Changes to bus routes will be posted online on individual bus schedules.
Most Montreal boroughs will continue with trash, compost and recycling pick-up as usual. Only two boroughs are changing their schedules: Montréal-Nord is postponing "green waste" (vegetation, leaves, etc.) pick-up to Friday and Ville-Marie is cancelling trash and food waste pickup.
Écocentres will be open.
In a statement, the City of Montreal said recreational and sports facility hours will vary by borough. The city invites the public to contact individual facilities for their schedules.