Dollarama, Walmart boost employee pay in light of COVID-19

The number of retailers in Canada giving employees a raise during COVID-19 continues to grow
Photo by: Ted Brellisford, The Hamilton Spectator.

Two more retailers are joining other companies that have remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic in paying their employees more during the outbreak.

"Our ability to provide everyday essentials to millions of Canadians is only made possible through the hard work of the Dollarama team working in our stores, in our warehouses, and in our distribution centre," said Neil Rossy, CEO of Dollarama Inc., in a statement Tuesday.

"We recognize the challenges they are facing and appreciate the incredible work they are doing to serve Canadians in these truly unprecedented circumstances."

The discount store announced a 10% pay increase for its store employees, as well as hourly workers at its distribution centre and warehouse.

READ: How Canadian grocery is dealing with COVID-19

Dollarama's announcement came as it was recognized as an essential business in Ontario and Quebec, where the governments have mandated non-essential businesses close in an effort to slow the COVID-19 pandemic. All Dollarama stores with street access will remain open in the two provinces, the company said, as well as its Montreal-based distribution centre.

Walmart Canada, meanwhile, announced Tuesday a bonus and premium pay program.

The company's 90,000 store and supply chain employees will receive a $200 March bonus for active full-time workers and half that for part-time ones, the company said in a statement.

READ: Walmart Canada to hire 10,000 workers amid COVID-19

Walmart will also pay each store and supply chain worker who is paid hourly an extra $2 per hour between April 3 and 30, and they will receive an additional 10% discount for two days next month to help them purchase essentials.

The company said it was "incredibly proud" of its employees who were "rising to the challenge of these unprecedented times."

In recent days, a number of major companies announced similar measures. Maple Leaf Foods, Cargill and Mondelēz Canada all said they would pay employees more as they worked to ensure the country's food supply remains strong.

Canada's major grocers, including Loblaw, Sobeys and Safeway Canada, have taken similar action.

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