Raley’s has announced another “appreciation award” bonus for all hourly workers in recognition of their extra efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
The West Sacramento, Calif.-based supermarket chain said Wednesday that the bonus — its fourth in five months — will be paid on Aug. 14 to hourly store, distribution center, pharmacy, production bakery and support center employees. Full-time associates will receive $500, and part-time associates will get $250.
“We are grateful for our team members and pleased to be able to give back even more,” Raley’s President and CEO Keith Knopf said in a statement. “Their dedication is inspiring under normal circumstances and even more so during these difficult circumstances.”
Raley’s previously announced community service rewards for all hourly staff in March, April and May, with those payments based on individual hours worked.
When the first bonus was announced in late March, Raley’s reported that the payments would vary but average about $500 per employee. “This reward recognizes the dedication team members have shown across store operations and other support services throughout the past two weeks,” the company said at the time.
Overall, Raley’s operates 127 grocery stores in California and Nevada under the Raley’s, Bel Air Markets, Nob Hill Foods, Food Source, Market 5-ONE-5 and Raley’s O-N-E Market banners.
COVID-19-related bonuses and so-called “hero pay” remain an issue as grocery workers seek extensions of hazard pay amid the rising number of coronavirus cases around the country.
Temporary hourly wage hikes for frontline workers at supermarket operators such as The Kroger Co., Albertsons Cos. and Stop & Shop have been phased out as the pay periods have expired and states and municipalities nationwide have begun reopening businesses and public spaces shut during the pandemic.
However, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) said in a press conference this month that the threat of the virus hasn’t abated for its members and other grocery store associates, and therefore the hourly hazard pay should be extended. UFCW has said cash bonuses don’t reflect the total hours worked by associates and their potential exposure to the virus.
In the UFCW media event, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) expressed their support of continued hazard pay and said they and 11 other senators sent a letter to Kroger and 14 other leading grocery retailers that called for the companies to extend their hourly hazard pay for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.
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