Toronto – March 23, 2020 – The voice of grocery store workers in Canada, UFCW Canada, is happy to announce that discussions with Metro and Sobeys have produced premium pay increases and enhanced safety measures for all front-line employees at Metro, Food Basics, Sobeys, Safeway, and IGA stores across the country.
Retroactive to March 8, 2020, all workers at Metro banner grocery stores in Ontario and Quebec will receive a wage premium of $2 per hour in recognition of employees’ efforts to continue serving the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, Metro will be adding further customer and employee safety protocols at its stores, including plexiglass dividers at checkouts and service counters. The company will also be improving social distancing measures by limiting the number of customers that are allowed in a store at any given time. As well, Metro has announced measures to provide an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to all employees through May 2, 2020.
UFCW Canada represents thousands of Metro employees at all banners operated by the company.
With respect to Sobeys employees, the company has agreed to provide an additional $50 per week, regardless of the number of hours worked, to all front-line workers at Sobeys, Safeway, and Safeway Extra stores across Canada, retroactive to March 8, 2020. Employees who work more than 20 hours per week will receive an extra $2 premium per hour for all hours over 20 hours, on top of the $50 per week premium pay. Franchisees of FreshCo. banner stores, meanwhile, have been strongly encouraged to adopt this pay program.
Top-up programs are also in place for employees who are in self-quarantine for a two-week period or for those taking time off to care for dependents or children. As well, Sobeys has agreed to install plexiglass barriers in its stores to help protect front-line employees as they work to serve Canadians and their families throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
Members at IGA stores will receive an additional $50 per week for those working between 1 to 20 hours, and an extra $2 per hour starting at the 21st hour worked, retroactive to March 15, 2020.
UFCW represents thousands of Sobeys employees working at Sobeys, Safeway, Safeway Extra, and IGA stores from coast to coast.
“UFCW Canada members are front and centre in the effort to provide safe, high quality food, sanitation products, and essential goods to Canadians and their families as we work to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, and members’ dedication throughout this crisis has been and continues to be truly heroic,” says Paul Meinema, the national president of UFCW Canada.
“Providing premium pay and enhanced safety measures to workers on the front lines is the right thing to do, and we commend Metro and Sobeys for recognizing the essential role of grocery workers in this time of need,” the UFCW leader adds.