Grocery stores increasing wages of staff during pandemic

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Grocery stores increasing wages of staff during pandemic

Shoppers practice safe distancing outside a Metro grocery store at Danforth and Victoria Park. Aves. in Toronto on March 23, 2020. Jack Boland/Toronto Sun Staff at the country’s largest grocery chains are getting pay increases for working during the COVID-19 pandemic.Loblaw, which operates Loblaws, No Frills and Shoppers Drug Mart,has added $2 an hour for existing hourly store and distribution centre employees, retroactive to March 8, which amounts to an average increase of about 15%.Store and distribution centre management teams are also getting an added weekly premium to their existing salary.Empire Co. Ltd., behind Sobeys, Safeway and FreshCo., will give staff a $50 bonus per week, as well as a $2-an-hour increase for staff after they have worked more than 20 hours in a week. Metro will also give staff a $2-an-hour increase.In both cases, the raises are retroactive to March 8.“Our extraordinary teams are motivated by what they see as a responsibility to Canadians and the opportunity to make a difference,” Loblaw executive chairman Galen Weston Jr. said in a statement.“But, unlike so many businesses across the country right now, our supermarkets and pharmacies are performing well. And the leaders in our business wanted to make sure that a significant portion of that benefit would go straight into the pockets of the incredible people on the frontline and in our distribution centres.”Loblaw recently launched a website, Loblawjobs.ca, to recruit temporary workers for their stores and distribution centres during the pandemic.Just how many jobs, their PR people aren’t saying exactly.“The level of need is still unknown in this ever-changing environment,” the Toronto Sun was told in an email.But the positions could include store clerks, Shoppers Drug Mart merchandisers, assemblers, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants.jstevenson@postmedia.comCommentsShare your thoughtscoronavirus

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