Kroger Supermarket has found a way to show appreciation for their employees who are working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic while potentially putting their own lives at risk. After protests, they have agreed to issue these employees a "thank you pay" as compensation for risking their health to keep shelves stocked, according to Today.
Throughout the last several months, many major companies such as Kroger, Target, Starbucks, Amazon, and Walmart have been providing their employees with an extra $2-$3 per hour to show appreciation for them amid the pandemic. The news recently broke that beginning on Sunday, this benefit will be taken away from Kroger employees since stores are beginning to open up again as normal.
However, many of these frontline workers were upset about the news because in many areas the threat of COVID-19 is far from over. Kroger heard these complaints and decided to respond by allocating $130 million in thank you pay for their workers. Full-time employees will receive an additional $400 as a thank you while part-time workers will receive $200. These payments will come out slowly over the course of the next couple of months.
Rodney McMullen, Kroger's chairman and CEO, issued a statement regarding the plan for thank you pay and explained what the company has done thus far to compensate their employees.
"Our associates have been instrumental in feeding America while also helping to flatten the curve during the initial phases of the pandemic. To recognize and thank our associates for their incredible work during this historic time, we offered special pay in March, April, and May," he said.
In addition to the thank you pay, the company will also continue to advocate for their employees throughout this crisis by ensuring that those ill with COVID-19 still get paid. They will also do what they can to protect their staff and prevent the further spread of the virus by providing every protective item necessary. This will include face masks and mental health resources. Employees will also be able to get tested for COVID-19 for free.
Starbucks, on the other hand, will also be getting rid of the additional pay they have been offering their employees but will do so slowly over time.
Even though the country is in the process of adjusting to a new normal, grocery stores are still feeling the backlash of COVID-19. As The Inquisitr previously reported, stores like Costco and Kroger have reported meat shortages. Meanwhile, some fast-food restaurants have taken burgers off the menu entirely.