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Chicoutimi Starbucks becomes first unionized franchise in Quebec

Cassandra Gonzalez holds a "union" sign while passing in front a Starbucks logo as workers participate in a walkout and strike during the company's Red Cup Day Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, near Pike Place Market in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson) Cassandra Gonzalez holds a "union" sign while passing in front a Starbucks logo as workers participate in a walkout and strike during the company's Red Cup Day Thursday, Nov. 16, 2023, near Pike Place Market in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
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Employees at a Starbucks on Chicoutimi's main drag in Saguenay have joined a union.

A news release from the national federation of unions (Fédération du commerce - Confédération des syndicats nationaux: FC-CSN) said that the Administration Labour Tribunal granted union certification to the cafe at 1331 Talbot Boulevard, meaning the around 30 employees will now be union employees. They filed an application for unionization in July, the release reads.

The location is a licensed store owned and operated by Groupe D Resto,a restaurant group in Eastern Quebec that manages other restaurants such as Mikes, Scores and Baton Rouge. All the employees in that store are employed by Groupe D Resto and the union certification is between Groupe D Resto and CSN, not Starbucks Canada.

CSN president Caroline Senneville called the decision a employee victory.

"As happens all too often with multibillionaire global corporations, anti-union practices are almost a feature of Starbucks' brand identity," said Senneville. "The company is infamous for its relentless efforts, around the world, to prevent workers from asserting their rights and even their freedom of expression! Today's victory therefore resonates far beyond Quebec and Canada."

The CSN includes more than 330,000 workers in eight union federations.

"The Chicoutimi employees are no longer alone against their employer," said Senneville.

The Chicoutimi Starbucks opened in 2018.

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