In response to statements made by Loblaw and Metro, about the cost impact of Ontario’s impending minimum wage hike, Unifor says big, profitable grocery retailers are probably best positioned to absorb the increase and could realize economic gains.

“Instead of viewing the boost to Ontario’s minimum wage as an economic opportunity, these companies have chosen to focus public attention only on labour costs with its investors and the public. That is incredibly disappointing,” said Unifor National President Jerry Dias.

Unifor estimates the anticipated minimum wage increases will positively affect 70 per cent of its members at Metro banner stores, as well as 90 per cent of members under Metro’s Food Basics and Loblaws’ No Frills banners – a disproportionate number of whom are women, working as clerks and cashiers. This increase will boost part-time workers income by as much as $80 per week, based on a 24-hour work week.