Several of North America's largest food and beverage manufacturers and distributors have announced enhanced employee benefits over the past week, aimed to compensate their workers amid the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic.
Here’s a recap of some of the latest of these announcements:
On Monday, Mondelēz International U.S. said it is giving its employees a $2 raise through May 2 for its manufacturing, distribution and sales hourly workforce, as well as a $125 per-week bonus for sales representatives. In addition, any impacted US-based employees will receive up to two additional weeks of paid leave at 100 percent of pay, less any statutory pay received for the same period.
“The health, safety and well-being of our colleagues and communities is our highest priority as we come together to address this unprecedented health crisis,” said Glen Walter, Mondelēz executive vice president and president, North America. “I am so proud of the tremendous dedication and commitment of our teams under these trying circumstances and thank everyone for all that they are doing. We are committed to providing our people with the support that they need as they ensure the continuity of the U.S. food supply.”
Mondelēz also said it expects to hire 1,000 frontline U.S. employees to ensure the uninterrupted functioning of our U. distribution and sales network in the coming months, and that the company encourages individuals who may been displaced by the closing of other businesses to apply for these positions.
Additionally, Mondelēz is donating $15 million to organizations responding to food instability and emergency relief.
Also Monday, the J.M. Smucker Company announced it is providing up to 12 weeks of full pay and benefits continuation for employees whose manufacturing or distribution facility is closed or whose roles cannot be performed to the COVID-19 situation.
A one-time $1,500 hardship award is being issued to approximately 5,700 employees in manufacturing, distribution and other functions where employees are diligently serving on the ground to ensure the delivery of food to fellow citizens.
J.M. Smucker is paying for 100 percent of COVID-19 testing for employees and all virtual health screenings conducted by the Company's insurance provider.
"We understand the uncertainty people are feeling right now, and are committed to do our part to ease some of that concern by supporting our employees and communities, while ensuring people and pets have access to a steady supply of food," said Mark Smucker, president and CEO of the J. M. Smucker Company.
On March 20, PepsiCo announced its full-time employees will receive a minimum of an incremental $100 per week over the next month and that it will hire 6,000 new, full-time, full-benefit frontline employees across the US in the coming months.
Employees who must quarantine will receive 100 percent of their pay during the up to 14-day quarantine period.
The quarantine period will not reduce accrued unused sick days, nor will there be a negative impact to attendance record.
"With COVID-19 reshaping the way we run our business and live our lives, it's important that we acknowledge the people keeping us steady during turbulent times, notably the heroic work of the millions of doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals around the world," said Ramon Laguarta, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. "At the same time, there is important work being done in other sectors, including our own, to help maintain the supply of foods and beverages. We couldn't be prouder of our PepsiCo team for the role they play in restocking pantries and refrigerators."
United Natural Foods
On March 19, wholesaler United Natural Foods announced a $2 raise for full-time and part-time direct labor associated and drivers for time worked through March 31.
14 days of additional paid sick leave for associated if they are diagnosed with COVID-19, and up to 14 days of additional paid leave for associated if a facility is closed due to COVID-19.
"Our associates have done a tremendous job keeping UNFI's supply chain secure and stable as customer demand has surged to unprecedented levels," said Paul Green, UNFI chief supply chain officer. "They continue to go the extra mile and put the needs of our customers first despite long hours and large workloads. This is why we, in turn, will continue to do whatever is in our power to prioritize their health and wellbeing at all times."