BOSTON (AP) — Workers at Shaws, Stop & Shop and other grocery chains across the Northeast are getting temporary pay raises as stores struggle to keep up with demand during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Stop & Shop chain announced Saturday that workers will get a 10 percent raise and two extra weeks of paid sick time during the pandemic. Albertsons, the parent company over brands including Shaw’s, Star Market and Jewel-Osco, said Friday that workers will be paid an additional $2 per hour. Whole Foods also announced temporary raises of $2 per hour.

United Food and Commercial Workers, a union representing 1.3 million grocery and retail workers, applauded Stop & Shop for the increased pay and sick time. Union President Marc Perrone said it will “not only protect these hard-working men and women, it will help protect the food supply throughout our communities.”
In announcing raises at Albertsons stores, the company’s president and CEO praised employees for working “tirelessly” to keep pantries and medicine cabinets stocked.

“These times are unprecedented in the grocery industry,” Vivek Sankaran said in a statement. “This simple ‘thank you’ doesn’t seem like quite enough — and we hope our sincere appreciation with this program is a start.”

Groceries across the U.S. have been slammed as customers stock up on food and supplies, leaving stores struggling to resupply toilet paper and other staples.
Public officials have urged against such panic buying, saying there’s plenty to go around. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has repeatedly warned that “filling your basement with two years of canned soup just means your neighbor will have to go without.”

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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