UFCW and the Kroger Co. announced a new increase to the pay and benefits for the company’s more than 460,000 workers across the country.
Kroger and UFCW have been working closely to ensure that these grocery workers are able to continue to provide the necessary food and supplies to their communities during the coronavirus pandemic. Kroger and UFCW announced the following increases to pay, benefits, and protections for frontline associates across the country:
- $2 Per Hour Pay Increase which will be paid to hourly frontline associates in retail stores, manufacturing plants, distribution centers, central fills, pharmacies and contact call centers for the next three weeks at which point UFCW and Kroger will revisit discussions.
- Providing Emergency Paid Leave: This ensures that any associates who are affected by COVID-19 – whether experiencing symptoms and self-isolating, diagnosed or placed in quarantine – can recover with the financial support they need.
- Additional Cleaning and Sanitizing protocols which include allowing associates to wash their hands and sanitize their registers every 30 minutes.
- Shortened Store Operating Hours to provide ample time to allow restocking, cleaning, and to provide appropriate rest and relief for associates.
- Installing plexiglass partitions at check lanes, pharmacy and Starbucks registers across each store.
- Adding floor decals to promote physical distancing at check lanes and other counters.
- Earlier Access to Pay: Beginning next week, the Kroger Family of Companies is adding ExpressPay – a new benefit that allows most hourly associates to access some of their pay faster, putting money in their pockets sooner than usual.
- Financial Assistance for Childcare and Other Needs: Kroger will make $5 million available for those facing hardship, including lack of access to childcare and for those considered high-risk, due to COVID-19 through the Kroger Family of Companies Helping Hands fund.
- Employee Hotline: Kroger will offer an associate hotline to answer benefit questions quickly.
- Expanded Health Care Services: Kroger will provide access to mental health services and other benefits to support associates’ mental and physical well-being during this stressful time.
“Today’s increase in pay and benefits is an important first step in our ongoing effort to keep customers and workers safe,” said UFCW International president Marc Perrone. “We will continue to listen to our members and will work with Kroger – and all responsible employers – to provide these incredible members and workers the support and protections they need to be able to do a job that is more essential than ever before.”
This agreement applies to all Kroger banners including Ralphs, King Soopers, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer, Dillons, and more.