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MONTREAL -- The CSN labour organization has filed a complaint with the Quebec Labour Relations Commission against convenience-store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., alleging it closed a store on St. Denis St. last month because employees were seeking to unionize, The Montreal Gazette reported.
For each of the 11 employees named in the complaint, it's seeking a year's salary plus an additional month of salary per year of service, as well as $35,000 apiece in moral damages and $50,000 in exemplary damages.
The CSN initiated a campaign to unionize workers in Couche-Tard's 600 Quebec outlets earlier this year. Three stores subsequently had unions confirmed, the report noted.
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 and did good business, according to the CSN.
"Couche-Tard is making an example of the St. Denis/Beaubien store and sending a message to thousands of salaried employees about what exercising their freedom of expression could cost them," states the complaint, which accuses Couche-Tard of anti-union intimidation.
The company declined to comment, as it has since the start of the CSN campaign.