Workers at Lifestyle Markets are demanding hazard pay and paid sick leave in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. However staff recently unionized and an agreement is still being negotiated. (Google Maps)

Workers at Lifestyle Markets are demanding hazard pay and paid sick leave in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. However staff recently unionized and an agreement is still being negotiated. (Google Maps)

Victoria grocery store staff seek hazard pay during COVID-19 crisis

Newly unionized Lifestyle Markets staff seek $3 an hour pay increase

A group of Victoria grocery store workers is demanding hazard pay and paid sick leave in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Represented by non-profit labour organization Retail Action Network, workers at Lifestyle Markets on Douglas Street say they continue to put their health at risk every day they come in to work, and feel they should be entitled to a $3 per hour pay increase until the crisis ends.

READ ALSO: B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

“We as grocery workers risk our own health, and the health of our families to continue serving our country during a global pandemic, and we are essential to the health of our community,” reads a letter signed by 41 staff members. “Lifestyle Markets staff have shown up to serve, even in the midst of a crisis.”

Workers are also seeking six paid sick days.

The group points to other grocery store chains, such as Loblaw, Sobeys, Save-On-Foods and Walmart Canada, where hazard pay has been implemented for workers.

Staff voted to unionize on Feb. 11, but say they only recently began bargaining to form a first contract.

A lawyer representing the grocery store said negotiations with the new union representative were ongoing, and therefore the company is restricted in what it can do in terms of changing pay rates.

READ ALSO: Grocery stores hiring more staff, offer wage boost as B.C. adapts to COVID-19 buying habits



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A Sooke woman is speaking up after she was almost tricked by a lottery scam, claiming she had won $950,000 with Set for Life Lottery. (File Photo)
‘I wanted it to be true so badly’: Sooke woman almost falls for lottery scam

88-year-old received letter stating she had won $950,000

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

Royal Bay Secondary School (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke School District alerts community to coronavirus positive case at Royal Bay secondary

Contact tracing underway after potential COVID-19 exposure Jan. 15

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Most Read