Stater Bros. Markets has extended through Sunday, May 31, the $2-per-hour wage incentive for all hours worked by the company’s hourly store, distribution, transportation, corporate office and construction employees. The wage incentive was implemented in March to recognize hardworking associates during the COVID-19 pandemic and already previously extended through May 3 and then through May 17.
“The Stater Bros. Family remains committed to serving the needs of Southern California shoppers,” noted Stater Bros. CEO Pete Van Helden. “Every day, we are reminded of the unwavering commitment of our employees to the communities and shoppers we serve. We are extremely proud of their dedication and this wage incentive is a recognition of their continued, tremendous efforts.”
Other retailers, including Walmart, Kroger, Albertsons, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Target and Dollar General, have instituted similar temporary pay raises, while municipalities like New York City have sought to mandate “hazard pay” for hourly food retail workers, and a $3 trillion aid package introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives would establish a COVID-19 Heroes Fund from which essential frontline employees would be paid.
When to end these payments may prove problematic, however, as the health crisis drags on. Kroger is reportedly planning to end its $2-per-hour “hero pay” measure on May 17, a move that has drawn criticism from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 55,000 of the grocer’s employees.
Also in response to the pandemic, Stater Bros. has extended its store hours, which are now from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., with 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays dedicated exclusively for senior shoppers.
The largest privately owned supermarket chain in Southern California, San Bernardino, Calif.-based Stater Bros. operates 169 supermarkets, and employs more than 18,000 associates. The company is No. 50 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s list of the top food retailers in North America