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Ralphs jumps to $ 2 hourly increase instead of workers’ bonus – Press Enterprise


Ralphs and Food 4 Less will pay their employees an additional $ 2 for at least the next three weeks, matching the salary increases already in place at other large supermarket chains in southern California.

The announcement, made jointly on Wednesday April 1 by parent company Kroger and the union representing 22,000 of its Californian workers, came after United Food and Commercial Workers criticized a bonus the company originally had Free.

Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions, and San Bernardino-based Stater Bros. announced an hourly increase of $ 2 an hour on March 20 as workers struggled to keep up with crowds fed by coronaviruses. Rather, Kroger offered its employees one-time bonuses of between $ 150 and $ 300.

The bonuses led to a harsh reprimand from UFCW Local 1167 president Joe Duffle, who called them “shameful.”

The two sides returned to bargaining sessions and proposed a three-week plan for the increases. Kroger and the UFCW will review the situation after that, the statement said.

“The Hero Bonus is just one more way to continue to express our thanks and gratitude not only to our existing associates but also to the more than 30,000 new employees who have joined us in the past two weeks” said Rodney McMullen, CEO of Kroger, in the release. .

The agreement covers some 460,000 Kroger workers across the country, including employees at distribution facilities and call centers, pharmacists and other workers.

Along with the increases, employees will benefit from improved family leaves, expanded health services, a more efficient employee health hotline and a faster payment system for workers who shop in their stores, among other benefits .

Supermarkets have also worked to install bulkheads, aka sneeze guards, to help protect their workers. The coronavirus epidemic has seen grocery stores devoid of household supplies while buyers are grouping under the mandate of home shelters. The hours have been reduced so that staff have more time to store the shelves and disinfect the stores.

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