- Stop & Shop will extend the 10% wage increase it has been paying hourly store associates since March through July 4, according to a press release from the Northeastern grocer. The extra pay will go to about 56,000 workers at Stop & Shop’s more than 400 stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.
- The chain initially agreed to provide its workers with a pay increase on March 20, as the pandemic was building steam, and announced in April that it would continue the increase through the end of May.
- Stop & Shop announced the continuation of the pay increase in conjunction with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), which said it worked with the chain to arrange the extension.
Grocers moved almost in unison to provide temporary pay increases to their workers at the start of the pandemic, but they have taken different approaches to renewing the extra pay as the crisis has endured.
In addition to Stop & Shop, a handful of other chains, like H-E-B and Target, are also continuing to provide pay increases to their workers. But others have eliminated the additional compensation, drawing protests from consumers and workers and demands for bonus pay in some capacity. Kroger decided to distribute $130 million in one-time payments to its workers after announcing it would end the $2-per-hour in extra pay it was providing workers on May 16.
For some grocery workers, at least a portion of the extra hourly pay they have been receiving during the pandemic is slated to continue indefinitely. As an example, Natural Grocers said in April that it would make $1 of the $2 in additional pay it has been giving workers during the crisis permanent.
Stop & Shop’s joint announcement with the UFCW that it will provide extra pay to its workers until July continues the grocer’s efforts to cultivate a positive relationship with the labor organization. The supermarket chain initially agreed to boost pay during the pandemic in March following discussions with the union.
In April, Stop & Shop issued a joint statement with the UFCW to urge federal and state authorities to designate grocery store employees as emergency workers. In the same statement, the grocer and the union announced that the pay increase would continue through May 30.
The cordial relationship between Stop & Shop and its union follows a period of discord just a year earlier. In April 2019, Stop & Shop workers at some 240 stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island went on an 11-day strike over what the UFCW said was the company’s plan to impose “drastic and unreasonable cuts to health care, take-home pay, and customer service."