A local group is set to host a rally to protest the end of pandemic pay for workers at grocery stores.

This Saturday, the group ‘Muskoka Power of Many’ will be hosting a rally in Bracebridge to take a stand for frontline workers –after the grocery giant Loblaws announced it would be rolling back their pandemic premium for its employees.

In an interview with MyMuskokaNow, rally organizer Diana McConnell says if the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s these workers deserve a fair wage they can live on.

“These workers are members of our community, they are our neighbours, our friends, they are the frontline heroes of this pandemic, and now they need us to put words into action. They need to know that their community sees them and values them. It’s unfortunate that it’s during a pandemic for people to see just how essential they are.”

McConnell adds that one of the biggest grievances these workers face is not having paid sick days – which makes it harder for workers to take time off work if they become ill, because it may inhibit them from being able to make ends meet.

She feels it’s important to let these frontline workers know just how much their efforts are appreciated.

“I think a lot of these workers did not see in themselves just how essential they are. It’s made them feel more confident about what they do for their community, and we need to stand with them to help get that message out.”

The pandemic premium paid grocery store employees an extra $2 per hour during the early stages of the outbreak.

McConnell says she feels there’s no excuse for the scheduled rollback.

“I mean all these grocery chains can afford it. They had record-breaking profits in the first quarter of this year. They were profitable before COVID, they were profitable during COVID, and they will be profitable after COVID.”

The rally takes place Saturday afternoon on 270 Wellington Drive at 1 p.m.

For more information, you can head to the event’s Facebook page