Make Pandemic Pay Permanent for Ontario’s Frontline Workers

Niagara Falls NDP MPP Wayne Gates is standing up for the workers on the frontlines of COVID-19 whose pandemic pay was ripped away

A News Release from the Constituency Office of Niagara NDP MPP Wayne Gates

Posted November 4th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Front-line employees continue to work and risk their well-being in grocery chains like this, owned by the billionaire Weston family, which has been among those making record or near record profits during this pandemic. File photo by Doug Draper

QUEEN’S PARK, Ontario  – NDP MPP Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) is standing up for the workers on the frontlines of COVID-19 whose pandemic pay was ripped away while they are still putting their lives on the line every day.

“The major companies, like Loblaws, that employ frontline workers called them heroes and raised their pay. However, once the cameras were off – these companies ripped away the pay increases. They make record profits while workers carry on under the same low wage conditions,” says Gates.

“Will the premier stand with these community heroes, these frontline workers, and demand that these highly profitable companies make the pandemic pay increases permanent?,” Gates asked Ford in the Ontario legislature Wednesday.

Last week the president of UFCW local 175, which represents many workers on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19 – workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, meat processing facilities and healthcare settings, wrote to the premier to demand employers reinstate pandemic pay while they are still being put at risk in the workplace.

Niagara NDP MPP Wayne Gates has repeated advocated for front-line workers to continue receiving an extra two-dollars per hour in pandemic pay – especially at retail outlets and other services where the owners/operators are making huge profits during these perilous times.

“The workers UFCW local 175 represents were already providing care in a broken system, yet have kept our health care system functioning under the stress of the pandemic. These workers watched their patients and co-workers get sick, and in many cases, watched them die,” said Gates.

Gates noted that almost one in five of those contracting COVID-19 are health care workers.

“Despite the lack of PPE, respect and pay – these front-line workers have done everything they can to keep those in healthcare safe from the virus. It is time to do more than just call these workers heroes. It’s time to treat them with the respect that heroes deserve,” said Gates.

“Will the premier and this labour minister make substantial, permanent pay increases for all health care workers across the entire sector, along with presumptive WSIB coverage?,” asked Gates.

NIAGARA AT LARGE Encourages You To Join The Conversation By Sharing Your Views On This Post In The Space Following The Bernie Sanders Quote Below.

“A Politician Thinks Of The Next Election. A Leader Thinks Of The Next Generation.” – Bernie Sanders

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