Markdale, ON – Chapman’s Ice Cream announced today their intention to make the pandemic pay boost permanent for production and distribution workers starting this October. The initial pandemic pay program was introduced on March 22, with a $2 per hour increase. With this announcement, the company also instituted the starting wage for production employees at $18.
“We are grateful to all employees who worked with us through these challenging times. Considering the financial hardships and uncertainties that Canadians are facing today, we recognize that the well-being of our employees is the essential part of moving forward,” said Ashley Chapman, VP of Chapman’s Ice Cream: “With this announcement we are stepping forward to embrace a living wage that our employees need, pandemic or not.” Mr. Chapman also noted that these increased costs will not affect the prices of Chapman’s products in stores across Canada and will not affect consumers.
In addition to the pandemic pay boost, Chapman’s also set up a 0% interest loan program in March, with flexible repayment terms, for any employees who could not work due to COVID-19. Wide-spread safety measures have been introduced throughout all Chapman’s facilities. New guidelines include screening, new uniform rules, new production scheduling, strict social distancing, Plexiglas dividers and more.
“Our costs have gone up considerably, but we have to look at the health and safety of our employees as our #1 priority. Sending people for COVID tests if they have symptoms is part of our policy, but it still takes too long to get the test results. We would love to see a rapid test kit and be able to deploy it on our premises. With our new policies, screening and enhanced cleaning measures, rapid testing is the only gap in our plan,” said Ashley Chapman.
In further efforts to protect employees and the community, Chapman’s also donated large volumes of the much-needed PPE throughout the pandemic. Tens of thousands of KN95 masks, as well as 3-ply surgical masks, have been distributed locally and across Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec. These PPE materials were mostly donated to health units and long-term care homes, but also many other public organizations who asked for help.
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