Grocery workers to get pay hike, more benefits

By on April 4, 2020
Inland Empire Grocery Stores Negotiate

Workers at Ralphs and Food 4 Less will receive a $2-per-hour increase in pay and added benefits for at least the next three weeks, according to an agreement reached between both chains’ parent company and the United Food & Commercial Workers Union.

The pact, announced Wednesday, includes emergency paid leave for any worker showing symptoms of COVID-19, shorter store operating hours, extra cleaning and sanitizing protocols at stores and installation of plexiglass partitions, better known as sneeze guards, wherever needed.

Kroger also agreed to make $5 million available for those facing hardship – including lack of access to childcare and anyone considered high-risk due to COVID-19. 

“[This] increase in pay and benefits is an important first step in our ongoing effort to keep customers and workers safe,” said union President Marc Perrone in a statement. “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.”

The agreement was reached shortly after Kroger proposed one-time bonuses of $150 to $300, a move the union called insufficient.