As Lifestyle Markets customers and community members, we support the demands in the following letter signed by 41 Lifestyle Markets staff:
2950 Douglas Street
March 30, 2020
ATTN: Lifestyle Market Management
Response requested to be posted on time clock by April 1st, 2020 at 12pm.
Dear Carmine Sparanese, Store Manager
The workers at Lifestyle Markets Douglas and Cook Street are reaching out to you as a collective voice to ask that you show due care, fairness and take strong initiative in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The BC government has deemed some businesses and industries, including grocery stores, as “essential services.” The province has deemed these businesses as being essential for “preserving life, health, public safety and basic societal functioning.” These businesses and services are still operating, though they can be shut down if not following public health guidelines.
Supermarket jobs are overwhelmingly low-wage and often don’t come with decent benefit packages or the option of working from home until the COVID-19 outbreak subsides.
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. Lifestyle Markets staff have shown up to serve, even in the midst of a crisis. We are continuing to put our health and our families’ health at risk every day we work at Lifestyle Markets, as we come into close contact with public on a daily basis.
COVID-19 represents a “hazard or physical hardship” that cannot be fully controlled by employer or employees. As such, the working conditions under which we were hired have changed considerably, as we encounter the unique and devastating hazard of COVID-19.
In light of the domestic spread of the virus, the current circumstances of this global pandemic fall far outside of what has historically been expected of Lifestyle workers. Not only that, but we are at a much higher risk of exposure to COVID-19, a level of exposure that cannot be fully controlled.
Due to the above points, we are asking for the following:
- Hazard pay for all staff of $3 per hour, implemented retroactively from March 15th until the COVID-19 crisis has abated, and
- 6 paid sick days for all staff
The presence of COVID-19 and the increased risk of infection to Lifestyle Markets workers should, at the very least, entitle Lifestyle workers to 6 paid sick days and a $3 increase in pay until the crisis has abated. These measures will bring Lifestyle Markets closer in line with measures other essential service providers have implemented.
These measures are also in line with Lifestyle Markets’ pledge to be “dedicated to wellness in the community.”
It is our hope that Lifestyle Markets management will implement the above measures in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of their staff, and by extension the community we serve.