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Loblaw to increase frontline worker pay due to coronavirus: union

Last Updated Mar 21, 2020 at 10:12 pm EDT

The Loblaws flagship location on Carlton Street in Toronto is shown on Thursday May 2, 2013. .THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Vincent Elkaim

Workers in supermarkets operated by Loblaw Companies Ltd. will see an increase in pay due to the coronavirus pandemic, the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW) said Saturday.

UFCW said they have negotiated a $2 increase in hourly pay for all frontline employees across the country.

“The wage increase is in the process of being implemented and will be applied to the hourly rates of both full-time and part-time workers at all Loblaw stores and associated banners,” said union president Paul Meinema.

The pay increase announcement came out on the same day Loblaw said they plan to install plexiglass barriers to protect their employees from COVID-19.

“UFCW is fully committed to working with industry partners to face and overcome the challenge of containing COVID-19 and making sure that Canadians have a steady supply of essentials throughout this process,” We commend Loblaw for showing leadership on this wage increase and call on other employers to follow this important example,” Meinema added.

Metro says it is also raising wages for grocery store and distribution centre workers by $2 per hour during the pandemic.

The grocer says the wage boost is effective from March 8 to May 2.

The chain says the temporary raise is an acknowledgment of the tough but necessary work their employees are doing during an unprecedented time.

It says it’s also introducing plexiglass guards to service counters to help protect staffers from the virus.