ShopRite giving hazard pay to employees who worked through shutdowns
ShopRite will pay hazard pay to nearly 50,000 union grocery workers in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, the union representing them said this week.
"The deal recognizes the ongoing risks ShopRite workers have faced as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and provides retroactive hazard pay ahead of the holiday season that covers all hours worked between July 26 and Aug. 22," the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union said in a statement.
The hazard pay period focuses on the time when emergency orders shuttered most retail, but made exceptions for those deemed essential by state governments.
According to the union, there have been at least 109 grocery worker deaths since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic earlier this year.
“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 this Thanksgiving," the union said in its statement.
The Union and ShopRite had agreed to a temporary hazard pay arrangement early in the pandemic, but that expired months ago.
According to the union, the retroactive premium will amount to $1 for each hour worked between July 26 and Aug. 22. If future government orders shut down retail businesses but leave open essential retailers — including supermarkets — the union and ShopRite management will meet again to discuss further hazard pay.
The union said ShopRite would also observe a moment of silence on Workers Memorial Day and Labor Day each year going forward, to honor frontline workers who died from COVID-19.