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After adding $2 per hour to their employee’s hourly wages in 2020, Trader Joe’s is adding another $2 per hour of what they are calling “Thank You Pay,” as of Monday.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, Trader Joe’s has provided all hourly Crew Members with an additional $2/hr “thank you” wage, in recognition of the outstanding, inspiring work they do every day, in our stores and communities,” the Monrovia-based market said on the “Customer announcements” section of its website. “Effective February 1, 2021, the ‘thank you’ premium for all hourly, non-management Crew Members, was increased by two dollars, for a total of $4 an hour.”

Trader Joe’s wage increase comes amid both the Los Angeles City Council’s and the L.A. County Board of Supervisor’s push for a $5 per hour increase of “hero pay” for grocery workers.

The city of Long Beach also recently voted to add $4 of “hazard pay” for grocery workers, which resulted in the Kroger Company’s decision to shut down Ralph’s and Food 4 Less stores within the city.

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, Long Beach Councilmember Rex Richardson, Los Angeles Federation of Labor President, Ron Herrera and United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 324 President, Andrea Zinder have scheduled a joint press conference for Wednesday, Feb. 3, to address Kroger’s closure decision.

“Yesterday, the Kroger Co., the parent company of Ralphs and Food 4 Less, announced that they were going to close two Long Beach neighborhood grocery stores because of the city’s new temporary hazard pay ordinance, passed in January,” a press release from UFCW 324 said. “Grocery workers have rightly been deemed essential since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and have been risking their lives, and the lives of their families to ensure stores have food on their shelves for almost a year now.”

In 2020, Trader Joe’s experienced four outbreaks at four L.A. County stores, leading to 64 positive cases of COVID-19.

Within the Monday announcement, Trader Joe’s also said it wanted to be transparent about its past COVID-19 scares, saying they had temporarily closed some stores in the past, allowing for “precautionary cleaning.” They also paid affected employees during the closures.

 

LA Weekly