Stop & Shop plans to extend its 10% pay increase for hourly store associates to July 4.
The Ahold Delhaize USA grocery chain announced the move Thursday with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). The “appreciation pay” was first instituted by Stop & Shop on March 20 and then extended through the end of May as the coronavirus crisis continued.
“With incredible dedication, teamwork and care for our customers, Stop & Shop associates are continuing to make extraordinary contributions throughout this situation,” Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid said in a statement. “The Stop & Shop team continues to play a vital role in serving the needs of our local communities and ensuring that our neighbors have uninterrupted access to the food they need. We are deeply thankful for this tremendous work.”
The pay hike recognizes associates’ efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and covers about 56,000 workers in more than 400 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. New associates hired before May 30 also will receive the increase, Stop & Shop said, added that it has hired and trained more than 8,000 new hourly workers since mid-March.
Stop & Shop, too, said it will continue to offer flexible hours for associates and up to two weeks of additional paid sick leave for employees required to quarantine by government authorities or the company.
“Thanks to hardworking UFCW members at Stop & Shop in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York, families across the region continue to have the food and groceries they need during this pandemic,” UFCW International President Marc Perrone stated. “Working together with Stop & Shop, we are proud to announce the extension of this pay increase for these essential workers keeping our communities strong. Every supermarket company must follow the lead of Stop & Shop and step up to provide our country’s grocery workers with the good pay and the benefits and protections they need.”
In late April, Stop & Shop said it joined an effort by UFCW to get federal and state governments to classify grocery workers as “extended first responders” or “emergency personnel” during the pandemic so they could be prioritized for testing and personal protective equipment (PPE). Albertsons Cos. and The Kroger Co. also have partnered with UFCW in the first responder status campaign. Earlier this month, UFCW also called on executives of leading grocery retailers to extend COVID-19 emergency pay, noting that grocery workers continue to face potential exposure to the virus.
Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop said its coronavirus safety measures for employees and customers include additional cleaning and sanitation, PPE for associates, protective plexiglass shields at checkout, store capacity limits, one-way aisles and in-store signage to promote social distancing. Customers age 60 and older and people at a higher risk for the virus also have reserved shopping time from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. daily.