June 18, 2020 / 10:00 PM / 2 months ago

Canada MPs vote to summon major retailers over scrapping of coronavirus bonus: Globe and Mail

OTTAWA (Reuters) - A Canadian parliamentary committee voted on Thursday to summon major retailers to demand they explain their decision to cancel temporary wage increases for workers during the coronavirus outbreak, the Globe and Mail reported.

The newspaper said all 11 members of the House of Commons industry committee agreed on the need for testimony from executives at Loblaw Companies Ltd, Sobeys Inc and Metro Inc.

Legislators and union activists are unhappy that all three firms have scrapped a C$2-an-hour pay increase awarded to frontline workers as the outbreak spread. The bonus had been in place for 14 weeks.

Canada’s Parliament has been largely shut down because of the outbreak and it was unclear when the executives would be able to appear.

Sherry Romanado, the Liberal legislator who heads the committee, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Loblaws said the pay increase had been designed to recognize extraordinary effort by staff.

“Our stores are now operating at a normal pace, albeit in a new way,” it said in a statement. “We have invested far more in our colleagues and customers during this pandemic than we have earned in extra sales.”

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Peter Cooney

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