Amid the busy holiday season and a surge of COVID-19 cases in its home state, Stater Bros. Markets is temporarily reinstating its hourly wage incentive for frontline workers.
The Southern California grocer said Friday reinstate that all hourly employees in its store, distribution, transportation and construction operations and corporate officers will receive an extra $2 per hour for three weeks as of the work periods starting Dec. 6 and Dec. 7.
“Throughout this challenging year, our Stater Bros. family has remained committed to serving the needs of our Southern California communities,” Stater Bros. CEO Pete Van Helden said in a statement. “I continue to be proud of our employees who display their extraordinary dedication every single day, and this wage incentive is but a small token of our company’s appreciation of their efforts.”
The move marks the fifth time that Stater Bros. has extended the $2 hourly wage incentive. The San Bernardino, Calif.-based company 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.
Stater Bros.' new hazard pay agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) recognizes the threat faced by grocery associates as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in California and nationwide, the union said. The deal includes member Stater Bros. employees in UFCW Locals 8GS, 135, 324, 770, 1167, 1428 and 1442.
“California grocery workers have been on the frontlines since this pandemic began and continue to put themselves in harm’s way to help families put food on the table during the holidays. This new UFCW agreement is a powerful victory for 18,000 Stater Bros. grocery workers in California," UFCW International President Marc Perrone said in a statement. “UFCW local unions worked with Stater Bros. to provide temporary hazard pay at the start of the pandemic, and these courageous grocery workers have come together once more to reach a new agreement with Stater Bros. reinstating hazard pay as COVID-19 cases skyrocket across California."
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, with its newest location being a 45,204-square-foot store in Ontario, Calif., opened in mid-October. Situated at 3460 E. Ontario Ranch Rd., the new store is Stater Bros.’ fourth location serving the city of Ontario.
According to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Resource Center, Los Angeles and surrounding Southern California metropolitan areas are seeing the highest number of new coronavirus cases in the nation. Through midday on Monday, Los Angeles Country had the highest amount of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States by county, totaling nearly 450,000, with just over 7,900 deaths.
*Editor's Note: Article updated with comment from UFCW.
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