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PRESS RELEASE: AUGUST 24, 2020

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August 29 – masks to be mandatory for employees and customers at RCSS stores

Real Canadian Superstores are about to make wearing a mask mandatory for employees in their stores, and ask customers to comply with mask-wearing as well. No Frills has a message on their Facebook page that masks will be mandatory in their locations as well. 

Public health officials are clear about the importance of wearing masks to stop the spread of Covid-19 and protect others, and the union supports the company’s decision to implement mandatory masks. The union is also looking into alternatives to masks, so that members may wear a face shield instead of a mask.

Effective August 29, 2020, Loblaw advises the following practices will take effect:

Employees:

Store colleagues will be required to wear a mask while working in the store. This includes all night crew colleagues, colleagues who work behind plexi-glass, and smoke shops. 

The only exception when colleagues can remove their mask is for purposes of consuming food or drink and for any emergency (i.e. when they are eating their lunch or having a snack at break time for obvious reasons – colleagues must maintain social distance during this time without a mask on).  

The only exception to a colleague wearing a mask will be made for legitimate reasons, typically related to any underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits their ability to wear a mask.  In such circumstances, a colleague will be required to fill out a self-declaration form confirming same (attached for your reference).

As a general rule, the company will not be requiring proof (medical documentation) to substantiate any colleague self-declared restrictions to wearing a mask.  We will trust that our colleagues are being honest and forthright with respect to any self-declarations.  That being said, this does not preclude the company from requesting supporting documentation where we believe there are appropriate circumstances which warrant same.

Where a colleague refuses to wear a mask and also refuses to complete a self-declaration form, the colleague will be sent home and will not be allowed to return to work until such time as they comply.  The company will be treating the initial refusal as non-disciplinary, however, this does not preclude the company from issuing discipline where it deems appropriate.

Customers:

To avoid negative customer interactions, the company will not be enforcing customer use of masks or face coverings. A “Best Efforts” standard of care only requires that we verbally remind customers that face coverings should be worn if they are entering our premise without a mask or remove a mask for an extended period of time. 

Loblaw will be using customer communication (signage and social media) to encourage and reinforce customer messaging and mandatory mask usage in stores.  

Customers can temporarily remove the mask or face covering if it is required for the purposes of consuming food or drink and for any emergency or medical purpose.

The following persons are exempt from wearing a mask or face covering:

-children under 5 years of age;

-persons with an underlying medical condition or disability which inhibits their ability to wear a face covering.We will not require proof of any exemptions that individuals (customers) may have for not wearing a mask or face covering;

The company will continue to monitor regulatory requirements as they relate to mandated mask usage and may adjust their approach accordingly.

  • ufcw [at] ufcw247 [dot] com