The Communist Party stands in full solidarity with Metro workers in the GTA on strike and fighting against precarious work and for livable wages. Metro, along with the other Canadian grocery monopolies, amass record profits by pushing down workers’ wages and price-gouging the public in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis. Metro workers are taking a stand and we stand with them.
In June, the 3,700 Metro workers, organized by Unifor 414, voted 100% in favour of a strike mandate. Despite a number of improvements, the tentative agreement brought to the workers to vote on last week was rejected. Small improvements are not enough when wages are falling so far behind.
As everyone knows, the corporate grocery monopolies have the record profits to pay for livable wages. 70% of Metro’s workers are part-time and earning an average of $16.62 per hour; full-timers earn an average of $22.60 per hour. The living wage in the GTA was estimated to be $23.15 last year. Wages at Metro increased by 3% from 2019-2022, while inflation ate up 9.4% during the same period. Workers risked their lives and health during these pandemic years.
Last year alone, official inflation averaged 6.8%, yet there has been no raise for workers. There was a raise for Metro CEO Eric La Flèche, however, whose total compensation increased by a coincidental 6.8% earlier this year to $5.4 million. Earnings reports continue to tell the tale of record profits with second quarter reports showing a 10% increase in profits from last year. Grocery prices increased by over 10% last year.
Five corporations, Loblaw, Sobeys, Metro, Costco and Walmart, control 75% of the whole country’s grocery market; making massive profits by exploiting working people. The unrestrained power of corporate monopolies is the principal driver of the deepening cost-of-living crisis. We join Metro workers on the picket lines and demand higher wages and real action by governments to roll back prices on necessities such as food, fuel and rent. We stand in full solidarity and encourage all working people to organize. Get to the picket lines and support the strike!
Find a picket line near you: https://corpo.metro.ca/en/media/newsroom/2023/press-release-Unifor-strike-27-Metro-stores-GTA.html
Learn more about the Communist Party of Canada’s “Roll Back Prices, Raise Wages” campaign: https://rollback.communist-party.ca/