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COVID-19 Resource Page

To our members working in Retail Grocery, Food Production, Hospitality, Warehousing & Distribution, Security, Hospitality, and Assisted Living all across Manitoba. All of us at UFCW Local 832 wants to thank you once again for all the hard work you’ve done this year for all Manitobans during this pandemic.

This pandemic brings a lot of stress and anxiety to everyone, and it’s important at times like this that we be patient and respect one another. We also need to be sure that we’re being vigilant and following the safety protocols that are set out so we can look after each other at home and in the workplace.

For an explanation of the current limits in each area, visit the Government of Manitoba Website here.

We know you have a lot of questions about how COVID-19 affects you, your family and your work place. UFCW 832 has put together this information sheet to help answer some of your questions.

If you work in Retail, check out our Retail FAQ

If you work in Security, check out our Security FAQ



What if I’m really feeling stressed about COVID-19?

It’s understandable to be feeling stressed out right now. The news is scary and no one is sure when things will be back to normal.

If you, or a family member, has an urgent mental health need please contact one of the following resources:

  • Klinic Crisis Line
    204-786-8686 or 1-888-322-3019
    TTY 204-784-4097
  • Manitoba Suicide Prevention & Support Line
    1-877-435-7170 (1-877-HELP170)
  • Kids Help Phone (national line available to Manitoba Youth)
  • Klinic Sexual Assault Crisis Line
    204-786-8631 or 1-888-292-7565
    TTY 204-784-4097
  • Manitoba Farm, Rural & Northern Support Services
    supportline.ca – online counselling
    1-866-367-3276 (hours Mon-Fri 10 am to 9 pm)
  • First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness Help Line
    Counselling available in English and French – upon request, in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktut

What if I can’t work because of a positive test, self-isolation or I am caring for my sick child or family member?

If you are having trouble navigating these systems or have additional questions, you should contact your union representative directly or reach out to the Community Unemployed Help Centre (CUHC).

All of the CUHC’s services are provided free of charge. They can be reached by calling 1-866-942-6556 or by email at cuhc@cuhc.mb.ca.

Employment Insurance (EI)

The existing Employment Insurance (EI) system has been revamped in the wake of the pandemic in order to be more responsive to the needs of workers in our current economy. Some of the temporary changes that have been implemented are hourly credits, which reduces the number of hours worked that an applicant needs in order to qualify for benefits to 120 and the implementation of a minimum benefit of at least $500 before taxes or $300 for extended parental leave benefits. If you had been receiving CERB benefits, you may also not have to apply for EI, however, if you have a social insurance number beginning in 9, are self-employed, previously indicated that you had returned to work full-time, or received your CERB benefits through the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) you will have to apply directly for EI.

Check out this page for more information

Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB)

The Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB) would provide a benefit of $500 a week (taxed at 10% so $450 net) for those who have lost their income as a result of having to care for a sick child or family member or have a higher risk of serious health outcomes due to COVID-19, this program can last for up to 44 weeks.

Learn more about the CRCB

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) provides $500 per week (taxed at 10% so $450 net) to workers who have contracted, or had to self-isolate, due to COVID-19 and is available for up to 6 weeks. The CRSB is also available to workers who have an underlying condition that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

Learn more about the CRSB

You should also apply for EI if you test positive because if you are still unwell after the 6 weeks of CRSB, you can claim EI benefits


What if I think I’ve got COVID-19?

Is it COVID-19 or just a regular cold or flu? It can be hard to tell. If you’re not sure you can do a self-assessment online at Manitoba Shared Health: https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/screening-tool/

If your symptoms do seem like you might have COVID-19 you can find info on testing, such as site locations and hours on the Manitoba government site: https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/testing/locations.html

You can also call Health links 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257

What if I’m worried about debt?

If you’re out of work, you might be worried about paying your bills or managing your debt. For help you can contact the Credit Counselling Society of Manitoba. They are a non-profit group of professionals who can help you pay back your debt.

Credit Counselling Society Manitoba

204-942-8789 or 1-888-527-8999

Can I refuse work if I don’t feel safe?

The Workplace Safety and Health Act gives employees the right to refuse work if they believe on reasonable grounds that the work constitutes a danger to their safety or health. The right to refuse dangerous work is not to be taken lightly and must be done in accordance with the process set out in the legislation or your collective agreement.

In Manitoba, the process for refusing dangerous work is a follows:

  1. Employees must report the work refusal to the employer and explain why they believe the work is dangerous. The employer and the employee then work together to assess the risk and resolve the concern.
  2. If the employer and employee are unable to agree on a resolution, an employee representative from the safety and health committee, or another employee can be brought in to help assess the situation and attempt to resolve the issue.
  3. If the situation cannot be resolved and the worker still feels the work is dangerous for them to perform, Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) is to be contacted to determine whether or not the work is unsafe. An investigation will be initiated and a decision will be made.

Dangerous work is generally defined as follows and may be applied differently to each individual employee:

  • a hazard that is unusual to the normal working conditions or tasks;
  • a hazard that is increased due to the health or physical condition of the employee;
  • a hazard that is likely to result in serious injury or illness; and reasonable controls have not been put in place to reduce or eliminate the hazard.

Employees generally will get paid during the refusal process, unless WSH grants an exception. Employees may also be assigned other tasks, if appropriate, during the refusal process.

Issues to consider in light of COVID-19 & the right to refuse:

  • Has someone in the workplace been confirmed to have the virus or was very likely exposed to the virus?
  • Is it likely that the workplace is a known or high-risk source of the virus?
  • Is the refusing employee likely to be exposed to the virus while performing the work?
  • Does the employee have a pre-existing medical condition that places them at an increased risk of serious illness should they be exposed to the virus?
  • Does the employee have access to adequate hand-washing or sanitation facilities and personal protective equipment?
  • Has the employee been properly trained on all safety precautions?
  • Has the employer enforced social distancing and provided a sanitized workplace?

Your Union has received a large number of member concerns about going to work and interacting with the public and/or with co-workers.  At this time, Manitoba Workplace Safety and Health has determined that attending work in the context of the Coronavirus does not constitute a danger as long as precautions are being taken by the employer and employees. It is important that you familiarize yourself with all employer implemented precautions and that you follow all of the rules carefully.

What if I don’t think my employer is doing enough to protect me?

As your Union we have been raising issues as they arise with all of the employer groups.  If you believe that there are other precautions that can be taken, please contact your Union Representative.

You can also contact Workplace Safety and Health directly by clicking on the link below or calling the numbers listed below.


Winnipeg: 204-957-SAFE (7233)

Toll-free: 1-855-957-SAFE (7233)

I think I got COVID-19 from my workplace, do I file for WCB?

Yes, you have the right to file a claim with the Workers Compensation Board if you have reason to believe you got COVID-19 at your workplace.

My doctor (or healthcare professional) has told me I have to self isolate. How will I get paid?

You may be able to use sick leave or other paid leave credits such as vacation or accrued overtime. If not, you can apply for CRSB.

*Some employers are doing more for their employees, check with your Union Rep 

Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB)

The Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) provides $500 per week to workers who have contracted, or had to self-isolate, due to COVID-19 and is available for up to 6 weeks. The CRSB is also available to workers who have an underlying condition that would make them more susceptible to COVID-19.

Learn more about the CRSB

I have to self isolate or quarantine, will I lose my job?

No, under federal law your job is protected for up to 16 weeks if you must miss work because of reasons related to COVID-19. You do not need a doctor’s note but your employer may ask you to write a letter explaining why you are off work.

What if I’m scared to go to work because of COVID-19?

It can be scary to go anywhere during the pandemic. If you need to stay home because of a medical leave or family responsibility you may qualify for unpaid statutory leave.

How do I book a vaccine appointment?

To book online, go to www.ProtectMB.ca

  • You will need to create an account to book online.
  • Your can add other people to your account if they need help to book.
  • You need everyone’s Manitoba health card number and an email address. If you do not have a health card, you can book by phone.
  • The online booking tool can only be used to book at Super-Sites.

To book by phone, call 1-844-626-8222 (1-844-MAN-VACC)

  • Interpreters are available so you can book in your preferred language.
  • You do not need a Manitoba Health card or email address to book by phone.
  • You can book for more than one person if you are both eligible.
  • The phone line can be used to book at Super-Sites or Pop-Up clinics.

To book at a medical clinic or pharmacy:

Am I entitled to paid leave to get vaccinated?

Yes! In Manitoba, employers are required to allow employees up to three hours of paid leave each time the employee requires a dose of vaccine.

Is there anything that you have a question on that isn’t posted here? Contact your Union Representative

For more information:

UFCW Covid News

Government of Manitoba COVID-19 Resources

Government of Canada COVID-19 Resources

Latest COVID-19 News Updates

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