While Québécois bibliophiles in the tune of 120,000 converged on Montreal’s Place Bonaventure last weekend for the city’s 28th annual Salon du Livre, employees at nearly a dozen branches of Quebec’s largest book chain set up picket lines.
Of the 1,000 people employed by Librarie Renaud-Bray in Quebec, 350 are said to be affected by the current labour dispute, in which salaries are a major sticking point. According to a recent article in the Montreal Gazette, the starting wage at Librarie Renaud-Bray is between $7.87 and $8.40 per hour, while minimum wage in Quebec is $7.60.
Contract negotiations have been taking place since April. After the presentation of the latest proposal to the Syndicat des employées et employés professionnels-les et du bureau, the union representing the Renaud-Bray employees, on Friday, workers from 11 of the chain’s 26 stores went on strike Saturday.