metro minimum wage

Metro getting rid of 24 hour grocery stores after minimum wage hike

Minimum wage employees in Ontario will soon be getting a substantial boost in terms of pay, job security and income protection.

That's the idea, at least.

The new Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, passed today by the provincial government, will see minimum wage in Ontario rise to $15 an hour by 2019. The process starts by raising the rate from $11.60 to $14 in just a few weeks, on January 1, 2018.

This means that employees will be making roughly 18 per cent more money next year than they are right now – if they work the same number of hours.

Canadian grocery store chain Metro says it expects to incur $45-$50 million in extra costs next year from Ontario's minimum wage hike, according to the Financial Post.

In order to counteract the financial loss, it plans to "scale back hours at some stores" in light of the new rules.

"Some 24-hour stores will no longer be 24-hour stores," said Metro chief executive Eric Le Fleche on a conference call to analysts Wednesday. "We have to manage the hours the best we can without reducing customer service."

Metro has 12 stores within the GTA right now according to its website, seven of which are open 24 hours, including the Metros at Bloor & Spadina, at Yonge & College, in Little Italy and in St. Lawrence Market.

The Metro in Liberty Village, which used to be open 24/7, already reduced its operating hours following renovations last fall – much to the anger and disappointment of many shoppers and employees.

Fortunately for those of us who prefer night shopping for its lack of other people, Metro plans to expand into more e-commerce and home grocery delivery over the next year.

That's one way to avoid waiting in checkout lines, I guess.

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