Workers everywhere are starting to feel the pinch. The spread of COVID-19 in Canada has left some people out of work as more businesses start to close. Cineplex is one of the companies which has laid off its workers, but Sobeys is stepping up to help them.
Empire Co, Ltd., the parent company of the grocery chain, said that it is setting up a way for people who have service industry experience to apply directly to any of its stores — among them Safeway and FreshCo — according to a report from the Financial Post.
The strategy will be put in place specifically for displaced employees from Freshii, Cineplex, and Fairmont Hotels.
"As you start seeing provinces go into states of emergency, closing borders, you’re going to see a higher and higher demand for groceries,” Empire spokeswoman Jacquelin Weatherbee told the Financial Post.
“We’re becoming, essentially, the only food source, So as that happens, we need to increase our hiring.”
While Sobeys will be reaching out to laid-off Cineplex workers, the executives of that company will also be taking a hit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cineplex executives will be taking a temporary 80 percent reduction in their salaries as long as theatres are closed.
The company plans to keep all of its locations shuttered until at least April 2.
Sobeys joins other companies that will stay open during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The LCBO and Beer Stores are staying open in Ontario during this time as well, although their hours have been reduced.
Sobeys and other businesses have also taken more initiative to protect their customers and workers while they stay open, including the installation of shields for their cashiers and limiting the number of customers in the store to 50 at a time.