UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema recently presented to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology about the need for major change in the grocery industry.
Addressing the committee’s Members of Parliament, Brother Meinema expressed the union’s disappointment about the cancellation of “COVID-19 pandemic pay” and focused on the need for permanent wage increases in the grocery sector and other frontline workplaces.
“It doesn’t make sense to cancel pandemic pay when we’re still experiencing a pandemic situation,” said National President Meinema during the committee meeting. “Pandemic pay must stay, must become permanent, and actually, must be increased.”
Brother Meinema also explained to committee members that UFCW Canada – as a part of a proud international union – was able to identify a number of best practices from around the world that helped influence many of the health and safety standards we see across the country today. However, the National President also advised MPs that much work remains – especially when it comes to achieving full compliance and consistency in every location that retails food.
National President Meinema also emphasized the need for structural change, both from a legislative and pricing standpoint, to best create more fairness for grocery store workers. In doing so, the union’s national leader also called out transnational retailers, such as Walmart, who have been overlooked by the committee to-date, and who have contributed greatly to many of the challenges experienced by Canadian grocery workers today.
To watch the full video recording of Brother Meinema’s presentation and discussion with the Standing Committee on Front-Line Grocery Store Workers, please visit UFCW Canada’s YouTube channel by clicking here.
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