A recent article in the Toronto Star looks at the price of groceries and the increased profits made by supermarket chains during COVID19. Early on in the year, these chains, one by one, implemented “hero pay” which increased front-line workers’ hourly rate. When cases started to drop in the summer, the large chains decided to stop paying workers their hero pay despite seeing soaring profits.
In a statement, the TFPC told the Star that grocers should demonstrate leadership by reinstalling pandemic pay and looking at targeted outreach to those experiencing food insecurity by providing store gift cards to those in need via distributing partners, such as Second Harvest, a Canadian food charity. It is important to note that the government needs to play a big role in monitoring and steering the private sector through policies that help address the inequalities we are seeing during the pandemic and beyond.