Kroger to offer pay bonus, expand benefits amid COVID-19 impact

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 526 views 

Kroger and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union announced a $2 per hour pay raise for 3,000 Arkansas grocery workers at Kroger Stores across the state. This pay increase is for a three-week period.

This comes as others from Amazon to Walmart have already implemented bonus pay and benefit expansions during this time. Kroger said the temporary raise will go to more than 460,000 of its grocery workers across the nation on the frontlines of serving customer needs in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. The retailer will revise the situation with the union after the three-week period.

“Our associates have displayed the true actions of a hero, working tirelessly on the frontlines to ensure everyone has access to affordable, fresh food and essentials during this national emergency,” said Kroger Chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen. “The Hero Bonus is just one more way we continue to convey our thanks and gratitude not only to our existing associates but also to the more than 30,000 new hires who have joined in the past two weeks and those who will soon join the Kroger Family of Companies.”

The grocery giant said it is also providing emergency paid leave for any employee affected by COVID-19. Kroger is taking additional steps to clean and sanitize stores and warehouses to cut down on speed through surfaces. This includes having registers sanitized every 30 minutes in addition to employee handwashing on that same schedule.

Kroger shortened operating hours and is installing plexiglass partitions at check-out lanes and over counters. Like Walmart, Kroger is also providing employees early access to pay through third party fintech ExpressPay. The grocery retailer is additionally making $5 million available for those employees facing hardships around childcare and other COVID-19-related issues.