MONTREAL -- Five unions representing workers at Héma-Québec have announced they plan to strike following a lack of action at the negotiating table.

"We're not asking for the moon, we're asking for a real commitment from the employer in a negotiation that's being dragged out unnecessarily," states Simon Poulin, president of the Syndicat des techniciens(nes) de laboratoire d'Héma-Québec and spokesperson for the Syndicats unis.

The unions, representing 500 workers affiliated with the Fédération de la santé et des services sociaux (FSSS-CSN), have sent their strike notices to the Administrative Labour Tribunal, Quebec's labour minister and Héma-Québec.

Three Montreal unions state they will strike on Nov. 30, with two Quebec City unions following suit on Dec. 1.

"If Héma-Québec put as much effort into its labour relations as it does into its public image, we wouldn't be in this situation," said Poulin. "It is quite distressing to see that an organization that takes advantage of all the forums to promote its mission has little regard for the value and work of the employees who enable it to carry out its mission on a daily basis.

He argues the non-profit organization needs to send the "right message to all of its employees."

The unions argue the last salary increase for employees dates back to April 1, 2018 after 42 months of negotiations.

"On the one hand, we have an organization that never stops praising the work of its employees and their essential role, notably on Nov. 17 when the organization received the Medal of the National Assembly," said Poulin. "On the other hand, we, these same employees, are faced with an employer who disrespects us and who is currently making no effort to improve our working conditions."

Previous strike mandates were held on Nov. 8 and 9.

The Syndicats unis of Héma-Québec includes the Syndicat des travailleuses et travailleurs de Héma-Québec (Montréal-CSN), the Syndicat des techniciens(nes) de laboratoire de Héma-Québec (CSN), the Syndicat des assistants techniques de laboratoire de Héma-Québec (CSN), the Syndicat des travailleuses et travailleurs de Héma-Québec (QUÉBEC-CSN) and the Syndicat des infirmières et infirmières auxiliaires de Héma-Québec (QUÉBEC-CSN).