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More than 150 security guards have been employed to reinforce the Special Security Forces

More than 150 security guards have been employed to reinforce the Special Security Forces

The Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) wants to avoid flooding: It has hired more than 150 security guards to support workers in its stores, who must request a vaccination passport for all customers from today.

Without providing a specific address, SAQ told magazine That these security guards would be deployed “mainly in large, crowded branches.” Their mission: “Make sure everything runs smoothly.”

These are “mainly” employees of the company Garda.

In the county, the state enterprise has more than 400 branches. The vaccination passport requirement will not apply at SAQ agencies (about 430), found in grocery stores or convenience stores.

Despite the presence of agents, SAQ employees are still responsible for checking the vaccination status of clients at the entrance to their establishment, with the help of a cell phone.

Management says it encouraged its managers to select “volunteer” employees first to implement this new procedure and has suggested line managers implement “staff rotation” at the door.

worried about passport

In recent days, many SAQ workers have expressed concern about the imposition of a vaccine passport. Some dread the reactions some customers might have upon leaving.

This was particularly the case for workers at a branch in East Montreal.

“There are a lot of employees who are afraid to deal with frustrated or violent customers. Seriously, it is not my role to provide security at the entrance. If things get difficult, I will not ask for the vaccine passport,” one of the employees told us.

Pour sa part, la SAQ assure qu’elle a “fait le nécessaire” pour mettre cette mesure en place, a répondu le porte-parole, Yann Langlais-Plante, n’étant toutefois pas capable de chiffrer la facture pour la société d’ condition.

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“For the cell phones used to validate our clients’ vaccination passports, we have done business with a non-profit organization that recycles used cell phones, allowing us to carry out the procedure at a lower cost,” he explains.

Two machines were sent to each branch, as well as to each branch of the Société québécoise du cannabis (SQDC) network. Unlike SAQ, a security guard has already been deployed to every SQDC store since 2018.

As of tomorrow, all SAQ and SQDC employees who have not been adequately vaccinated will not be able to purchase alcohol or cannabis in stores, even if they continue to work there.

They will have to do the shopping through the online service.

Without being able to provide numbers, SAQ claims it has not seen an “extraordinary increase” in its sales in recent days, due to the imposition of a vaccine passport.

Online delivery times are always 5-7 days.

In collaboration with Olivier Burke

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