Some food retailers are extending pandemic pay, while other programs end.
Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. employees will continue to receive their 10% pandemic pay bonus through July 4, the food retailer said this week.
The extension of the pay increase applies to some 56,000 workers at more than 400 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. Stop & Shop initially increased associate pay on March 20 and had previously extended the program through May. The increase covers workers hired before May 30. During the pandemic, the food retailer has hired at least 8,000 workers.
“With incredible dedication, teamwork and care for our customers, Stop & Shop associates are continuing to make extraordinary contributions throughout this situation,” said Gordon Reid, Stop & Shop president. “The Stop & Shop team continues to play a vital role in serving the needs of our local communities and ensuring that our neighbors have uninterrupted access to the food they need. We are deeply thankful for this tremendous work.”
Earlier in May, The Kroger Co. said that would award $130 million in “Thank You Pay” to much of its labor force as a reward for working during the pandemic. The bonuses amount to $400 for qualified full-time workers and $200 for qualified part-time associates. Kroger is distributing its Thank You Pay in two installments.
But that move came as Kroger ended its "Hero Pay" for some 450,000 workers, a $2-per-hour premium. "We are extremely disappointed by Kroger’s decision to end Hero Pay, and we know that our members are disappointed as well," said Marc Perrone, president of the Washington, D.C.-based United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union. "At the beginning of this crisis, Kroger first called these workers 'heroes,' and now they have decided that they’ve stopped being heroes."
In related news, Stop & Shop and the UCFW on Tuesday issued a joint statement that calls “on federal and state governments to designate associates at grocery stores as extended first responders or emergency personnel.” If that happened, those workers would have access to “testing, emergency child care and other protections to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.” Such grocers as Kroger and Albertsons have already issued similar calls in partnership with the union.
Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop employs nearly 60,000 associates and operates more than 400 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. Parent company Ahold Delhaize USA is No. 11 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food retailers in North America.