In a brief update on twitter, the union representing Save-On-Foods employees stated that workers at the grocery chain will receive a $2/hour pay boost.
According to the tweet, this measure is “in response to the incredible work they are doing on the front lines of the COVID19 crisis.”
“We encourage all retailers to take the same actions to recognize their brave workers.”
Great news: Save-on-Foods employees will receive a $2/hour pay boost in response to the incredible work they are doing on the front lines of the #COVID19 crisis. We encourage all retailers to take the same actions to recognize their brave workers.
— UFCW 1518 (@UFCW_1518) March 20, 2020
“Grocery store and pharmacy workers are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis,” said President Kim Novak in a statement on Tuesday.
“They are bravely facing extraordinary challenges to keep Canadians fed and get them the essential supplies they need. They deserve government action to help keep themselves and the public safe.”
A union representative clarified to Victoria Buzz that the pay raise is retroactive, and went into effect on March 8th.
Save-On-Foods is one of multiple grocery store chains across North America looking to hire workers to keep up with increased demands as individuals and families looking to self isolate at home stock up groceries.
The chain has also begun refusing bottle returns and reusable bags, instead opting to provide free plastic bags to consumers at all 178 grocery store locations across western Canada to curtail risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Save-On-Foods is also among a host of grocery stores in Canada that has introduced designated hours to allow the elderly and vulnerable populations to shop before all others.
The company now opens their locations from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to everyone, while the hour from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. is dedicated to senior shoppers, those with disabilities or people who are vulnerable.
See all the latest updates about the global COVID-19 pandemic on Vancouver Island
According to the latest update, there are now 348 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in B.C. including 30 on Vancouver Island.
The federal government recently announced an $82 billion assistance package for Canadians and businesses struggling financially during the global pandemic.
Earlier this week, B.C. joined Alberta and Ontario in declaring a public health emergency in order to curb the spread of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, B.C. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth declared a provincial state of emergency to support the health ministry’s public health emergency.
The provincial government also announced the indefinite suspension of all in-person classes at K-12 schools in B.C.
Canada has tightened its borders and is denying entry to people who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents in Canada.
U.S. citizens are no longer an exception to this rule, and non-essential travel between U.S. and Canada will be temporarily banned by March 21st. Moreover international flights have now been restricted to international airports in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and Calgary.
The BCCDC has set up a 2019 novel coronavirus telephone information line at 1-833-784-4397 for those who have further questions about this disease.
Anyone concerned that they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the novel coronavirus, should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 8-1-1.
The Province has also created the 1-888-COVID-19 line to connect British Columbians needing non-medical information about the coronavirus pandemic.
As of the time of publication, the total number of COVID-19 patients worldwide has risen to 274,092.
Over 11,300 people have died from the illness and 90,622 have made a full recovery.