QUINCY (CBS) — Stop & Shop has discontinued its “appreciation pay program” for its grocery store workers amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Quincy-based supermarket chain paid employees an extra 10% from March 20 through the Fourth of July.
“We deeply appreciate the extraordinary efforts of our associates and have been pleased to offer our appreciation pay program for longer than nearly every other food retailer. The purpose of this temporary extra pay was to recognize our associates for their hard work during an unprecedented surge in demand and customer traffic.,” Stop & Shop said in a statement. “As states continue to reopen, we are returning to pre-COVID levels of traffic and demand. We are continuing to take significant steps to keep our associates and customers safe and will continue to offer our associates a flexible leave policy and additional paid sick leave.”READ MORE: Massachusetts Reopening Plan: COVID Restrictions Loosen Monday, Including Restaurant Capacity
Some are now calling on Stop & Shop to continue paying its workers extra, noting that coronavirus cases are spiking nationwide. Sen. Ed Markey, of Massachusetts, joined UFCW Local 1445 outside Stop & Shop South Bay in Dorchester Monday afternoon to demand that Stop & Shop reinstate the “hazard pay.”READ MORE: 'In Like A Lion': March Weather Brings Drastic Swing In Temperatures This Week
“These workers are heroes, but heroes need help,” Markey said. “They are taking a risk right now inside of this supermarket in order to provide food for everyone who lives in this region.”MORE NEWS: South Attleboro MBTA Station Closes Due To 'Deteriorating' Pedestrian Bridge