The logo of a Metro grocery store is seen Tuesday, January 31, 2012 in Montreal. Union leaders who represents thousands of grocery store workers are telling MPs there is no reason why large chains are cutting pandemic-related pay premiums since the pandemic hasn’t gone away.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Unions tell MPs that grocery workers should still have pandemic pay

Chains announced they were ending the pandemic pay bump because the pace of business had eased.

Union leaders who represent thousands of grocery-store workers are telling MPs there is no reason for large chains to cut pandemic-related pay premiums since the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t gone away.

Representatives from Teamsters Canada, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Canada and Unifor point to the dozens of retail and warehouse workers who remain sickened with COVID-19 and a report today from CTV News in Windsor, Ont. that two workers just tested positive in the border city.

The union leaders are asking a House of Commons committee to recommend stricter labour standards and oversight for the sector, beyond getting to the bottom of why the pay premium was rolled back by some of the largest grocery chains.

When the pandemic struck Canada in March, major grocery chains said they would boost front-line workers wages on average about $2 per hour.

But late last month, the chains announced they were ending the pandemic pay bump because the pace of business had eased.

MPs on the industry committee agreed to look into the matter and will have a chance to question store executives at the end of the week.

The Canadian Press


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