SAQ workers turn wine labels around, prices upside down as pressure tactics

Unionized employees at one downtown Montreal outlet have made it a little harder to choose a wine or liquor, turning around all the bottles on the shelves so their labels are hidden from view.

Unionized employees find creative ways to voice their displeasure over labour dispute

Bottles of wine at one SAQ outlet in downtown Montreal are turned backwards as part of the union's latest tactic to protest against lagging contract negotiations. (Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press)

The latest pressure tactic by the union representing employees at the SAQ, Quebec's government-run liquor board, is a little backwards and topsy-turvy.

Workers at one downtown Montreal outlet have obscured the labels by turning around all the bottles of wine and liquor on the shelves.

There is also a media report of one store in the Saguenay region where all the signs indicating prices have been turned upside down, forcing shoppers to twist their heads in order to see how much the alcohol costs.

The SAQ's 5,500 unionized employees are showing their displeasure with stalled contract negotiations and have voted to give their union executive the power to call up to six strike days.

Union president Katia Lelièvre said today both sides will be back at the negotiating table Thursday and Friday, but she wouldn't say whether her executive would call for a strike if an agreement isn't reached by the weekend.

Negotiations have proven difficult regarding weekend work hours and conditions of part-time employees.

The provincial government operates about 400 stores through the SAQ and has a monopoly on most wine and all liquor sales in the province.


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