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All retailers should boost wages, take safety precautions: Unifor

March 23, 2020
By Talent Canada Staff

Many retail employers have stepped up and boosted pay for staff during the pandemic — including Loblaw, Sobeys and Metro. And they have implemented enhanced safety precautions, such as personal protective equipment and plexiglass shields.

Now Unifor — Canada’s largest private-sector union — is calling on all retailers to boost wages and implement enhanced safety protocols for front-line service workers.

“We recognize the tremendous risk workers are taking and thank them for their dedication during these unprecedented times,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. “Unifor continues to call on retailers to recognize the importance of their front-line workers and to compensate them fairly during the crisis.”

Unifor encourages all employers choosing to remain open to follow suit and provide workers with wage premiums and appropriate health and safety measures. Front-line workers are taking extraordinary risks while performing their crucial services in order to serve Canadians.


“All employers choosing to remain open during the outbreak have a legal responsibility to provide a safe working environment,” said Dias. “Retail workers deserve recognition and gratitude for their brave service during this pandemic. The actions employers take now will impact what’s to come, and we are all watching.”

Unifor published a list of what it expects from retail employers, including:

  • Appropriate protective gear
  • Proper safety training
  • Strict personal hygiene protocol
  • Social distancing measures
  • No doctor’s notes to claim sick-leave benefits
  • Full income assistance

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