Friday, September 24, 2021
ADVT 
National

Report on grocery pay finds cartel-like practices

Darpan News Desk The Canadian Press, 17 Jun, 2021 11:06 AM
  • Report on grocery pay finds cartel-like practices

Canada's competition laws should be changed to prohibit cartel-like practices and wage-fixing deals in the country's grocery sector, a new report by the House of Commons industry committee presented in the lower chamber on Wednesday said.

The report comes a year after Canada's big three grocers — Loblaw Companies Ltd., Metro Inc. and Sobeys parent company Empire Company Ltd. — all cut temporary pandemic-related pay bonuses within a day of each other last June.

The move prompted the committee to hold hearings on the issue and invite senior grocery executives to explain their decisions.

While the food retailers admitted to communicating with each other about ending their respective wage premiums of about $2 an hour, they denied co-ordinating the termination of the pay bumps.

Metro president and CEO Eric La Flèche said he reached out to his counterparts at Loblaw and Sobeys to gather information — not to obtain a tacit agreement on wages.

"The more information I have on what others are doing, how they are treating their employees and how much they are paying and for how long, is valid information that I tried to get," he told the committee last July.

But competing grocers communicating about wages at the executive level risks "a slippery slope towards cartel-like conduct," Matthew Boswell, commissioner of competition at the Competition Bureau, testified during the committee's hearings.

Yet the bureau lacks the power under the Competition Act to prosecute such behaviour and faces significant resource constraints, he said.

Canada’s competition legislation diverges from laws in the United States, where federal competition authorities can criminally prosecute wage-fixing agreements, Boswell told the committee.

The bi-partisan committee recommended Ottawa align Canadian competition legislation with American legislation in order to to criminally prosecute such agreements.

"Doing so would clarify competition-related obligations for businesses active in Canadian and American markets, and facilitate co-operation between competition authorities in Canada and the U.S.," the report said.

 

MORE National ARTICLES

Commons committee calls for overhaul of EI system

Commons committee calls for overhaul of EI system

Today's report also asks whether special benefits, such as maternity and parental leave, should be hived off into their own program, and recommends extending sickness benefits to 50 weeks.

 

 

Commons committee calls for overhaul of EI system

Ottawa pledges $115 million in aid for Venezuelans

Ottawa pledges $115 million in aid for Venezuelans

The continued departure of refugees and migrants from Venezuela is one of the largest external displacement crises in the world with over 5.6 million people leaving the country in the last few years according to the UN refugee agency.

Ottawa pledges $115 million in aid for Venezuelans

Canada accepting 1M Moderna doses from U.S.

Canada accepting 1M Moderna doses from U.S.

Canada will receive a donation of 1 million doses of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine from the United States today. The doses are part of the U.S. promise to donate 80 million doses of vaccines by the end of June.

Canada accepting 1M Moderna doses from U.S.

Freeze promotions for top brass: Committee

Freeze promotions for top brass: Committee

The request is one of several from the House of Commons committee on the status of women, which recently finished a months-long study of military sexual misconduct sparked by allegations against several senior commanders.

Freeze promotions for top brass: Committee

Green leader asks party execs, PM for 'space'

Green leader asks party execs, PM for 'space'

Green Leader Annamie Paul is asking party brass and the prime minister to give her "the space to unify" the party ahead of a general meeting that could serve as a referendum on her leadership.

Green leader asks party execs, PM for 'space'

BC unveils back to school plan for fall, says students K-12 will not be in cohorts

BC unveils back to school plan for fall, says students K-12 will not be in cohorts

Whiteside - “We can plan for a much more typical school year in the fall.” $18 million is going to learning impacts. No guidance on mask wearing in schools for September. Daily health checks will continue.

BC unveils back to school plan for fall, says students K-12 will not be in cohorts

PrevNext