Trader Joe’s Is Granting Bonuses to Employees Following a Petition for ‘Hazard Pay’

updated Mar 20, 2020
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Things have been flying off the shelves at grocery stores around the country due to the coronavirus — including at the already wildly-popular Trader Joe’s. Employees at Trader Joe’s (and elsewhere) have been working tremendously hard to keep the stores running, and safe for everyone, but it hasn’t been easy. Just look at this line of people outside the supermarket that was posted on Twitter. This is happening everywhere

And because these employees have been working hard despite the danger of being in close contact with others each day — rather than at home in self-quarantine to protect themselves from the virus — Trader Joe’s is granting special bonuses to compensate workers during this stressful period. Employees were told of this decision in an internal memo that circulated on Monday this past week.

This decision to give out bonuses came after Trader Joe’s employees demanded “hazard pay.” Employees expressed their needs in a petition called the “Trader Joe’s Union Coalition,” which received almost 15,000 signatures. Trader Joe’s employees said they wanted hazard pay, and guaranteed wages if there are store closures, since they say the company is “[raking] in millions of dollars amid the frenzy of people across the country filling… stores to stock up” and they are “at the frontlines of this global pandemic and are terrified.”

In response, and as noted in the memo, Trader Joe’s is going to set up a “special bonus pool” for each individual store that will be split equally across the employees based on hours worked during the outbreak. The memo says, “We want to acknowledge the incredible hard work and dedication of our Crew Members in supporting each other and our communities by sharing the financial benefit of this sales increase with our store crew who have worked so hard during the past several weeks, and for as long as this challenge remains.”