Niagara MPP wants workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, and others to continue getting pandemic pay


Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates wants major companies, like Loblaws, to continue paying their workers more.

Last week the President of UFCW local 175, which represents workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, meat processing facilities and healthcare settings, wrote to the premier to demand employers reinstate pandemic pay.

The union believes workers are still being put at risk in the workplace.

“The major companies, like Loblaws, that employ frontline workers called them heroes and raised their pay. However, once the cameras were off – these companies ripped away the pay increases. They make record profits while workers carry on under the same low wage conditions,” says Gates. “Will the premier stand with these community heroes, these frontline workers, and demand that these highly profitable companies make the pandemic pay increases permanent?,” Gates asked Ford in the Ontario legislature Wednesday. 
“The workers UFCW local 175 represents were already providing care in a broken system, yet have kept our health care system functioning under the stress of the pandemic. These workers watched their patients and co-workers get sick, and in many cases, watched them die,” said Gates.
“Despite the lack of PPE, respect and pay – these front-line workers have done everything they can to keep those in healthcare safe from the virus. It is time to do more than just call these workers heroes. It’s time to treat them with the respect that heroes deserve,” said Gates. 
“Will the premier and this labour minister make substantial, permanent pay increases for all health care workers across the entire sector, along with presumptive WSIB coverage?,” asked Gates.