Manitoba’s COVID-19 restrictions create concerns for workers, small businesses

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The union representing more than 7,000 Manitoba grocery store workers has concerns over the province’s new restrictions, which came into effect Friday, and how they will impact workers trying to do their jobs.

Jeff Traeger of UFCW told 680 CJOB his organization sent letters to grocery chains across the province asking for clarity on how management will help keep situations calm.

Under the current rules, grocery stores can allow 25 per cent of their capacity — or 250 people, whichever is lower — and Traeger said there are questions about how that will be regulated.

“We know that some of the bigger stores are having a hard time keeping that number that low,” he said.

“It’s a bit all over the map. There are some store managers in individual locations, regardless of what banner it is, who are very good at making sure they have an accurate count of who’s in the store and making sure that they’re at that 25 per cent or lower threshold.

“…and then there are others ones who kind of leave it up to chance. It’s a bit of a competitive business,  so a lot of them are saying, ‘hey we’re not going to turn customers away because they’ll just go to our competitor’.”