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QUEBEC -- Another Alimentation Couche-Tard convenience store has been accredited by Quebec's Labour Relations Board, making it the fifth company location to receive union status.
According to CBC News, the convenience store in Pierrefonds, on Montreal's West Island, is just the latest to be unionized. However, this may not necessarily signal good news for the store's employees.
Of the four other stores in the Couche-Tard portfolio that were granted union status in the past year, two were shuttered by the convenience store chain. For its part, the retailer said the two stores were losing money. Of the two unionized stores that remain open, both are still without a contract for the employees, the news outlet reported.
A conciliator has been appointed to help both sides arrive at a first collective agreement. The CSN labor group, which represents workers, says contract demands include four days of sick leave a year; a commitment to respect the existing labor code; pay increase to $12.50 per hour after four years of service; and the installment of panic buttons in case of an armed robbery.
As CSNews Online previously reported, a Couche-Tard c-store at the corner of Jean-Talon Boulevard East and Iberville Street in Montreal was closed in September. The move came after unionized employees enacted pressure tactics -- such as wearing union stickers on their uniforms -- to bolster contract talks. It was the second store to close after unionization attempts. Employees of the St. Denis location applied for union accreditation in March. They got it April 12, six days after the store closed. The location had recently been renovated and expanded.