- Lidl will raise the starting wage for all of its hourly employees in the Philadelphia area to $15 per hour starting April 5, the discount grocery chain announced in a press release Thursday.
- The increase will lead to an immediate pay boost for more than 150 Lidl workers in the region, where Lidl operates seven stores.
- Lidl is raising pay for its Philadelphia-area employees as federal lawmakers consider proposals to raise the current national minimum wage.
In its announcement, Lidl highlighted the fact that its lowest-paid workers in the Philadelphia area will now receive more than twice the federally mandated minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25 per hour, a level set in 2009.
The discount grocery chain also recently said it would raise pay for workers in other parts of the country. Lidl announced in January that starting pay for its workers in the Atlanta area would rise to $15 per hour, and said in February that its minimum hourly rate on Long Island, outside New York City, would go up to $16.50.
“We've gone through a very thorough and detailed look at all of our markets to do a detailed assessment of the cost of living, making sure that we can provide our members with a leading wage,” said Will Harwood, a Lidl spokesperson. “We're really making sure that we can provide a very highly attractive and leading compensation and benefits package.”
Harwood also pointed to Lidl’s health insurance benefits and retirement plan as examples of how it tries to ensure that its employees are paid at a rate that will attract people. The German company, which began operating its first U.S. store in 2017, is in the midst of an expansion push that is due to increase the size of its fleet to 150 by the end of 2021.
Retailers have been drawing attention to voluntary initiatives to raise pay for their workers even as politicians spar over the wisdom of forcing employers to increase compensation for their lowest-rung workers.
Costco President and CEO Craig Jelinek told Senate lawmakers at a Feb. 25 hearing that the membership-based company would raise starting pay for its workers in the United States to $16 per hour. Target, meanwhile, has a starting hourly wage of $15.
Earlier last month, Walmart revealed that it would raise average hourly pay for 425,000 frontline employees to over $15.