- Stop & Shop will provide another round of bonuses to 56,000 workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), the two parties announced Friday. The lump sum payments will be equal to 10% of the hours associates worked between July 5 and Aug. 22 and will exclude any paid time off during the period.
- Ingles Markets, meanwhile, plans to distribute a third round of pandemic-related bonus checks to its workers in mid-November, according to a press release from the Southeastern supermarket chain. Full-time employees will each receive payments of $300, while part-time workers will get $150. Workers need to have been hired on or before July 24 to be eligible for the extra pay.
- Stop & Shop and Ingles are providing additional compensation to their workers at a time when most grocers have declined to revive bonus programs they instituted earlier in the pandemic.
Stop & Shop and Ingles are again rewarding workers for braving the pandemic even as other food retailers have remained silent about whether they might revisit the extra-pay programs they rolled out to great fanfare and then stopped amid public outcry.
Stop & Shop’s retroactive bonus, which excludes any local UFCW unions currently negotiating with the grocer, follows a 10% wage boost for workers between March and early July along with two additional weeks of paid leave for any sick workers.
The new bonus from Ingles, which operates 197 stores across six states, is a reprise of the company’s decision to distribute the same payments at the same levels in April and July.
A chorus of other retailers, including Target, Kroger and Albertsons, had been distributing extra pay, generally $2 per hour, or lump sum payments, but eliminated the additional compensation one by one. Those decisions led to an outcry from a range of critics, including the UFCW, which received help from Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sherrod Brown of Ohio in an effort to pressure the grocers to reverse course.
Some retailers have heeded calls to continue paying workers a premium as the pandemic has worn on.
Brookshire Grocery, a Texas supermarket chain, announced earlier in September that it was extending a $1 hourly pay increase it has been giving its workers though Nov. 6. Costco, meanwhile, is committed to paying workers an extra $2 per hour through the first eight weeks of the current quarter, but hasn’t decided whether it will stop the bonus pay after that, the company’s chief financial officer, Richard Galanti, said Thursday during an earnings call.
In addition, Natural Grocers said in April that it would make permanent $1 of the $2 hourly bump it elected to give its workers in response to the pandemic.