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Shoppers Drug Mart ‘volunteer’ job posting was an error: Loblaw

A Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy in downtown Toronto is facing backlash over a now-deleted job posting for a “volunteer” position in the store. The job posting on LinkedIn listed duties including assisting customers, restocking shelves, and organizing inventory — all for zero compensation.

Pharmacist behind LinkedIn posting says intentions were good

A Shoppers Drug Mart location is pictured at the intersection of on King & Peter streets in downtown Toronto. People wearing winter clothing are walking on the sidewalk in front of the store.

A Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacy in downtown Toronto is facing backlash over a now-deleted job posting for a "volunteer" position in the store.

"My first reaction was this has to be a joke," said John Gunn, who has been a customer at the pharmacy, located at King and Peter streets, for more than a decade.

But it was no prank.

The job posting on LinkedIn listed duties such as assisting customers, restocking shelves, and organizing inventory — all for zero compensation.

"Your role as a volunteer is crucial in ensuring that our customers have a positive and seamless shopping experience," read the listing, which was taken down from LinkedIn on Thursday.

Shoppers Drug Mart's parent company Loblaw told CBC Toronto in an email that the "job posting was an error," adding that it is against company policy to have volunteers in its stores.

'Good intentions' behind listing, says pharmacist

The listing was posted by Emil Harba, the pharmacist owner at the Shoppers Drug Mart located at King and Peter.

Harba declined a request for an interview, but told CBC Toronto he "was trying to help people seeking Canadian experience." He said he often receives messages from people inquiring about volunteer opportunities in an effort to gain work experience.

"The post wasn't for any bad intentions, it was for good intentions," Harba said.

Harba said soon after he put up the listing, he was informed by the corporation that he could not take on volunteers in the store, and he immediately worked to take it down.

Online backlash

Images of the job posting have been circulating online, with Shoppers Drug Mart fielding criticisms on X, formerly Twitter.

Gunn, the long-time customer, said he saw the listing as a continuation of a trend where customers are being asked to do "more and more free labour for companies."

"From bringing your own bags, to packing your bags, to using self checkout, and now having the nerve to ask customers to volunteer literally stacking the shelves. And I thought there had to be a line drawn somewhere."

Gunn says he's drawing that line by switching to a different pharmacy.

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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