Dollarama workers call for resumption of pay raise amid the pandemic


MONTREAL — Dollarama workers in Montreal are demanding higher pay and better working conditions after the retailer ended its temporary coronavirus pay boost earlier this month.

Employees at Dollarama stores received a 10 per cent wage increase at the end of March while warehouse workers saw a $3 raise, resulting in hourly pay of between $14.40 and $16.10 instead of Quebec’s minimum wage of $13.10.

The company stopped the pay premiums on Aug. 2 after extending them for a month and a half beyond the initially anticipated end date.

Organizers for a demonstration in Montreal on Thursday afternoon say that despite Dollarama’s efforts to ramp up health measures amid the pandemic, it is not possible to maintain physical distancing inside its Montreal warehouse, with hundreds of employees clocking in and out at the same time and working on the same floor.

They say the distribution centre is staffed primarily by immigrants and asylum seekers employed through temporary placement agencies, leaving already vulnerable workers in a more precarious position.

Canada’s three major grocers — Loblaw Companies Ltd., Metro Inc, and Empire Co. Ltd. — also halted their temporary pandemic pay bonuses in mid June.

Companies in this story: (TSX:DOL, TSX:MRU, TSX:L, TSX:EMP.A)