Stater Bros. Markets is extending its $2 hourly incentive for frontline workers after temporarily reinstating the program earlier this month.
San Bernardino, Calif.-based Stater Bros. said Tuesday that all hourly employees in its store, distribution, transportation and construction operations and corporate offices will receive an extra $2 per hour worked for another two weeks, effective as of the work period starting Dec. 27.
The move comes as a “show of our appreciation” of workers’ extra efforts during the busy holiday season and the coronavirus pandemic, the retailer said. The company’s home market of Southern California is currently experiencing the highest growth rate in COVID-19 cases in the country.
“I am extremely proud of our employees, who remain dedicated to serving the needs of our Southern California shoppers,” Stater Bros. CEO Pete Van Helden said in a statement. “This incentive recognizes our employees for their ongoing extraordinary efforts during the holidays.”
The additional two weeks marks the sixth time that Stater Bros. has extended the $2 hourly wage incentive. The grocer first instituted the bonus pay in March, with plans to offer it from March 23 through the ensuing four weeks. Then in April, the retailer announced two extensions of the COVID-19 incentive pay, first to May 3 and then to May 17. That was followed by announcements on May 12 for an extension to May 31 and on May 22 for an extension to June 14.
And in December, Stater Bros. restarted the hourly wage incentive for frontline workers, paying an extra $2 per hour for three weeks from the work periods starting Dec. 6 and Dec. 7. The move came upon a new hazard pay agreement with the United Food and Commercial Workers unions, including UFCW Locals 8GS, 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428 and 1442.
All Stater Bros. locations are currently operating from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. daily. Overall, the company has more than 18,000 employees and 170 supermarkets.
According to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Resource Center, Los Angeles has seen the highest number of coronavirus cases by county in the nation, at nearly 635,000 as of Tuesday afternoon, including over 8,900 deaths. The number of COVID-19 cases has averaged well over 10,000 daily — and topped 20,000 one day — over the past two weeks.