People in Canada are criticizing Winners and Michaels for staying open amid the COVID-19 pandemic
While most stores, restaurants and other non-essential businesses across Canada have made the wise decision to close in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, social media users in Canada are putting those who remain open on blast.
TJX, the company that owns Winners, Homesense and Marshalls in Canada in addition to T.J. Maxx, HomeGoods and Sierra in the U.S., has yet to close their stores in both countries, though they're reducing store hours starting today.
I’m just gonna put this out there. The TJX Company (TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Marshalls, Sierra Trading Post, HomeSense) needs to close. Period. None of you need to go to our stores for any type of necessities. We have nothing you need for quarantine. thats all. 😳— B ♡ (@rebeccarossano_) March 16, 2020
"We will also modify hours and close stores accordingly based on guidance from government officials and health authorities," reads a letter from the company.
"We greatly value our Associates and at this time, plan to pay Associates for up to two weeks in case they are unable to work as a result of TJX needing to close a store or office due to COVID-19 or if they are directed by a Department of Public Health or TJX to self-quarantine."
But employees of the company have taken to social media to criticize the company for keeping stores open and putting them at risk.
Someone tell TJX to follow in the footsteps of companies that are closing and paying their workers. They employ a large amount of people and have a large customer base and are practically doing nothing to prevent the spread of CV. Clothes shopping can wait.— sar (@alterniite) March 16, 2020
Someone even started an online petition — which has garnered 288 signatures to date — in an attempt to get them to close.
"TJX Stores remain open during this pandemic putting employees at risk and not caring about customers," reads the description of the petition.
"Non essential goods are sold at these stores and they refuse to close. Their response was to cut hours to the busiest times. Shut down the stores and pay your workers!"
Some are also trying to get the company to shut down their distribution centres for the sake of employees.
Dear TJX Canada,— Nuvi (@nuvi0_o) March 17, 2020
Shut down your distribution centers.
You have 1800 workers in Ontario alone, some who are 50yrs + and you are putting them at risk.
Voluntary leave without pay is not good enough.
DO BETTER. #Coronavirusontario @WINNERS @HomeSenseCanada @marshallscanada
Craft store Michaels is in a similar boat, as the company has yet to close stores despite selling non-essential products.
The vast majority of non-essential companies: we’re closing— Nicole 🌻 (@blesstherain13) March 18, 2020
Michaels: We’re increasing the amount of times we clean our store, come buy stuff. pic.twitter.com/BsU5Zwx3BH
"We are increasing the cleaning of cashier and framing counters, store classrooms, shopping cart handles, door handles, bathrooms, breakrooms and other high-traffic and high-touch areas," reads a letter about the company's response to COVID-19.
"We have also developed dedicated communication channels to share information and preventative guidelines with our Team Members."
And though the letter notes that employees at the company's corporate office have the option to work from home, those who work in stores must continue to go to work and put themselves at risk.
"Just wondering why you guys are STILL OPEN NORMAL HOURS during a literal pandemic, putting your predominantly 50+ staff at risk when the rest of the country is shutting down???" reads a tweet from one Twitter user who accused the company of trying to capitalize on an emergency.
@MichaelsStores just wondering why you guys are STILL OPEN NORMAL HOURS during a literal pandemic, putting your predominantly 50+ staff at risk when the rest of the country is shutting down??? Literally got this email. I can't believe you're trying to capitalize on an emergency pic.twitter.com/d2g2mrbvk3— Kelly Samuel (@jellysamuel) March 18, 2020
Provinces across the country are gradually ordering all non-essential businesses to close in order to stop the spread of COVID-19, but it seems some companies are simply slow to get with the program.
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