MONROVIA (CBSLA) — As other grocery chains push back against local ordinances that would pay its workers on the frontlines more per hour, Monrovia-based Trader Joe’s is bucking that trend by giving its employees more money voluntarily.
Trader Joe’s, which had raised the hourly wages of its crew members $2 at the start of the pandemic, says it will again hike its workers’ pay another two dollars, for a total of an extra $4 an hour of “thank you” wages. The wage hike went into effect Monday for all hourly, non-management crew workers.
The move comes as Los Angeles County considers increasing the pay of its grocery and drugstore retail workers $5 an hour in so-called “hero pay,” and Kroger has announced it will close two of its stores in Long Beach over the hazard pay ordinance that require grocery stores to pay its workers another $4 an hour.
Workplaces, retail shops and grocery stores are among the largest sources of COVID-19 spread in Los Angeles County, and at least four of Trader Joe’s locations have reported five or more confirmed positive cases. Trader Joe’s stores are particularly vulnerable to the virus because they typically have a smaller footprint than most grocery stores, fewer locations, and a large and passionate fan base.