Springdale-based George’s Inc., a fourth-generation family owned and operated poultry and prepared foods company, announced a plan Monday (April 6) to pay more than 7,300 employees a temporary appreciation bonus.
The temporary bonuses will be equivalent to $2 per hour for every hour worked and will be given to employees retroactive to March 15 through April 25.
The approximately $5 million in bonuses, according to a news release, will go to “essential team members and drivers” during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are especially grateful to our team of frontline professionals across our entire supply chain who have risen to the challenge of meeting the increased demand for food among our customers, consumers and operators,” Charles George, George’s co-CEO, said in a statement. “It’s only right that we reward and recognize the critical role they all play in maintaining a vital food supply.”
In addition to the bonuses, George’s implemented a series of safeguards to support its workforce spanning corporate offices, production facilities, truck shops, feed mills and hatcheries the company’s footprint. The company has more than 7,000 employees in eight production locations across four states (Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee and Virginia).
Among the activities George’s has initiated, include but are not limited to:
- Copays have been waived for George’s medical plan members for telemedicine, as well as waving copay and coinsurance for COVID19 testing in network.
- No wait time for short term disability or salary continuation payments for sick employees.
- Implemented the use of thermal Imagining cameras at all production facilities before each shift; as well as utilizing temporal thermometers at corporate and all other off-site locations where essential employees report to work.
- Introduced protocols to identify potential exposure to COVID-19; following CDC’s guidance on quarantines.
- Sharing government issued health and safety best practices with supply partners, within the food industry & our communities.
- Instituted enhanced cleaning procedures in all common areas.
- Conducting daily corporate crisis response team meetings.
- Instituted meeting and travel restrictions for all George’s employees, business partners, contractors, suppliers and vendors; all nonessential personnel are working from home.
- Expanded accessibility of product to those in need.
- Diligently monitoring manufacturing and supply facilities to insure no disruptions to the supply.
“In addition to our own workforce, we wish to thank all the healthcare professionals, first responders, local, state, federal government agencies, and everyone working to keep us safe during this unprecedented crisis,” added Carl George, Charles George’s brother and also a company co-CEO.