With the nation still feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Southern California grocer Stater Bros. Markets is extending its hourly wage incentive for frontline workers a fourth time.
Stater Bros. said Friday that its $2-per-hour wage bonus will continue to June 14 for all time worked by hourly employees in stores, distribution facilities, corporate offices, and transportation and construction operations.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our Stater Bros. family has worked hard to serve the needs of Southern California shoppers,” CEO Pete Van Helden said in a statement. “I am extraordinarily proud of the commitment and dedication our employees display every day and this wage incentive recognizes their tireless efforts.”
Stater Bros. instituted the extra $2 hourly pay in March, with plans to offer the incentive from March 23 through the ensuing four weeks. “Our employees are committed to helping our community during this difficult time,” Van Helden commented at the time. “They are working long hours, and some have even forfeited vacations and days off to be there for our customers.”
Then in April, the San Bernardino, Calif.-based supermarket chain then announced two extensions of the COVID-19 incentive pay, first to May 3 and then to May 17. When the latter pay extension was made, Van Helden cited the “extraordinary efforts of our employees, who continue stepping up to ensure that service to our valued customers remains uninterrupted.” That was followed on May 12 with the announcement of another extension, to May 31.
Overall, Stater Bros. has more than 18,000 employees and operates 169 supermarkets in the Southern California area.
In mid- to late March, the retailer modified its store hours to 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. to accommodate the extra store cleaning in inventory restocking needed to address safety and the surge in demand with the escalation of the pandemic. The company also designed an exclusive shopping hour for seniors, from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. daily.
With restrictions relaxing around the state, Stater Bros. extended its shopping hours back to between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. daily, with 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays reserved for seniors.