St. Louis-based grocery retailers join other union chains around the country providing higher wages during crisis
Representatives of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 announced today that the largest local retail grocery companies in the St. Louis area are offering bonuses for their workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
As grocery workers face unprecedented levels of work — including longer shifts and a deluge of customers — UFCW locals around the country are working with their major employers to provide additional wages on top of enhanced healthcare benefits to the workers on the front lines of a pandemic.
“My members working in the stores are working harder than ever before,” said UFCW Local 655 President David Cook. “The public is relying on their local grocery store to provide them with food and supplies at this critical juncture.
"Our largest employers, Schnucks, Dierbergs, and Straubs have been working with us to expand benefits and make changes to the workplace to enhance their safety. The steps today, to increase compensation, are greatly appreciated and absolutely deserved for these hard-working heroes.”
The announcement comes as more and more members of the public demand that food workers and pharmacy techs receive an “emergency first responder” designation from Missouri Governor Mike Parson. Thus far, Parson has declined to issue the designation or explain why.
“I wish the Governor would show the same courage and leadership as my members and these employers,” Cook said. “Everyone recognizes how hard these people are working and how essential they are to our society right now except apparently our own governor.”
- Schnucks bonuses will be determined by job classification and will be issued no later than April 1.
- Dierbergs will calculate bonuses based on hours worked between March 16 and April 26. Dierbergs will pay a $2/hour premium on all hours worked under 40 per week, and $3/hour for hours worked in excess of 40 per week during that time, and will issue bonuses in May.
- Straubs, another St. Louis-based grocery chain, also just announced a $2/hour adjustment, but the full details are not yet available. This Straubs salary adjustment will apply to all four Straubs locations as well as Midtown IGA in St. Charles, and Price Chopper in House Springs.”