Amid the Omicron crisis, Loblaw Companies is rolling back its Pay Protection Program, putting workers’ and families at risk.
UFCW 1006A is calling on Loblaw to immediately reinstate the program that directly paid workers when they were sick or isolating due to an exposure.
“Workers should not be forced to make the choice between their health and their paycheque,” said President Wayne Hanley. “At a time when Loblaw is seeing record profits, the company should do better to support and protect our members who are showing up to serve their communities instead of reducing access to sick pay for workers who contract COVID-19. Grocery workers face higher risks and greater exposure to the public due to the nature of their job, and they deserve to be protected.”
With many members falling ill during this wave, others are going above and beyond to fill staffing shortages.
“Putting up barriers to access sick leave puts everyone at greater risk as those who cannot afford to stay home may be forced to come to work unwell – throughout the pandemic, grocery workers have heeded the call to do their part,” said President Hanley. “Government and corporate policy continues to fall short, forcing a heavy burden on frontline workers.”
As the pandemic wears on, workers who have faced multiple infections and exposures may have run out of the government benefits available to them. Workers, due to actions of the provincial government, have reduced access to PCR tests and limited access to rapid tests.
The Loblaw sick pay program roll back impacts thousands of 1006A members working at Loblaws Great Food, Real Canadian Superstore, No Frills, Your Independent Grocer, Valumart and Independent City Market stores
The Omicron wave has created unprecedented challenges for workers, who are faced with government inaction on implementing an easy to access paid sick day program, and the lack of free publicly available COVID tests.
UFCW 1006A urges the public do their part to help keep workers safe, by wearing masks in stores that covers their noses and and chins and by keeping their distance from staff. If shoppers feel unwell, the local union urges them to stay home.
Member with questions are encouraged to reach out to your union rep – as always, we are here to help.