A new program has been created to support employees who work for maritime grocery store chain Sobey's, as they continue to work throughout the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The workers will be part of the companies Hero Pay Program, according to CTV News.
Grocery stores are considered an essential service and thus must remain open despite the closure of many other businesses such as bars and restaurants.
President and CEO of Sobeys Michael Medline released a statement describing the their situation, “Our team is playing a vital role in providing Canadians with the food, medicine and essentials they need for their families during this terrible crisis. We are humbled by the efforts our teammates are making each and every day, as they continue to step up and support the needs of our neighbours,”
“We want to ensure our teammates are well cared for and that we lead the way for fair treatment.”
Sobey’s new Hero Pay Program will include the following:
- All employees will receive an additional $50 a week, regardless of the number of hours worked.
- All employees who work more than 20 hours a week will receive an additional $2 premium per hour for all hours over 20 hours, in addition to the $50 payment mentioned above.
- All of the new arrangements are retroactive to March 8, 2020 and employees will receive their first payments in early April.
- The program will be reassessed at the end of April.
- The company is organizing a recruitment drive and is hiring additional part-time employees across its business.
- Top-up programs are in place for employees who are in self-quarantine for a two-week period or for those taking time off to care for dependents or children.
“Our retail and distribution centre teammates are true local heroes working on the frontlines in their communities to deliver essential services to Canadians,” wrote Medline.
“In times like these, enhanced compensation and support programs for those who need to care for themselves and their families are simply the right things to do.”
As of 2019, Sobey's employeed approximately 129,000 people in Atlantic Canada.