Kroger followed suit to similar companies like Meijer and Savemart who had already announced they will reward their personnel employed in essential operations stemming from an economic-societal crisis caused by the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus.
“To recognize our associates’ hard work, we’re providing a Hero Bonus—a $2 premium above their standard base rate of pay to hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call centers,” the Kroger management announced on Twitter on Wednesday.
To recognize our associates’ hard work, we’re providing a Hero Bonus – a $2 premium above their standard base rate of pay to hourly frontline grocery, supply chain, manufacturing, pharmacy and call centers. Learn more: https://t.co/IBw5kyTXqZ pic.twitter.com/sBcrXfrUE5
— Kroger (@kroger) April 1, 2020
Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO, announced the pay raise in a press release: “Our associates have displayed the true actions of a hero, working tirelessly on the frontlines to ensure everyone has access to affordable, fresh food and essentials during this national emergency,” McMullen said.
“The Hero Bonus is just one more way we continue to convey our thanks and gratitude not only to our existing associates but also to the more than 30,000 new hires who have joined in the past two weeks and those who will soon join the Kroger Family of Companies,” the statement further stated.
The move came after an employee at a Kroger distribution center in Memphis, Tennessee, tested positive for the CCP virus last week and staff started to feel uneasy about not getting some kind of compensation for the hazardous work they are doing.
“We really in a hazardous situation and we scared,” Maurice Wiggins, a forklift driver told the Memphis Commercial Appeal from a warehouse floor last week.
“Half the workers have gone home,” he added. “They scared for their safety. The ones that is here, they so tense they scared to touch the equipment,” he said.
“They only care about us getting cases out,” Wiggins said, “not our health and safety.”