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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Loblaw Cos. Ltd. CEO, Galen Weston, is speaking out against a claim that the company is attempting to "sabotage" the Ontario government's plan to raise the minimum hourly wage to $15.

During a recent earnings call with analysts, Weston disclosed that the company could incur $190 million in additional labour expenses in 2018 as a result of minimum-wage increases in Ontario and Alberta.

In response, advocacy group Leadnow created a petition accusing Weston of trying to "sabotage" the Ontario government's plan, according to a Globe and Mail report. "[Loblaw's CEO] complained to investors about the irritating cost of paying its workers a living wage – even though Loblaws doubled its profits last year and Weston took home $5 million," the Leadnow statement says.

Weston pushed back this week, saying Loblaw does not oppose the wage hikes but is meeting its obligation to make shareholders aware of the impact they would have on the company, the Globe reports.

"We made no value judgments. Clearly communicating an unplanned increase in costs to our business is not a campaign to undermine wage rates," Weston said in a statement. "Our company and I have been long-time supporters of progressive public policies that support a balanced, sustainable and prosperous economy, regardless of politics."

Founded in 2010, Leadnow is an independent, registered non-profit that has advocacy campaigns aimed at a wide array of issues ranging from pipelines, international trade and climate change, the Globe reports.

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