Martin M. Looney

Senate President Pro Tempore

Martin M. Looney

An Advocate for Us

July 7, 2020

Looney & Duff Decry Stop & Shop Prematurely Ending Surplus Pay Program Amid COVID-19

HARTFORD – Today, Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven) and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) decried grocery store chain Stop & Shop’s decision to prematurely end a surplus pay program implemented at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. While transmission of the virus has declined in Connecticut since the pandemic’s initial apex, COVID-19 transmissions continue across the state today, continuing to put grocery store workers on the pandemic front line.

Stop & Shop implemented a program it referred to as “appreciation pay” in five states across the Northeast in April, providing employees in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island with 10 percent pay increases. That program has concluded as of July 4 and no further pay increases are currently expected to be given to employees.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, grocery store workers have effectively kept our society going. They’ve faced risks to health and safety to ensure members of the community could access food and other essential products,” said Sen. Looney. “After months of risk, workers have suffered significant health consequences from COVID-19. Since the risk they face is not over, the additional compensation they deserve in light of that risk must continue as a matter of fairness. Stop & Shop has reported sales increases during the COVID-19 pandemic; the least it can do is support the employees who risked themselves and their families to keep the doors open.”

“Stop & Shop employees deserve true hazard pay while they continue to risk exposure to COVID-19. It’s clear the company labeled its program ‘appreciation pay’ so it could end the pay increases as soon as the coast was clear, even as the virus clearly has not disappeared,” said Sen. Duff. “Despite the fact that rising COVID-19 infections in more than 60 percent of the country represent a continued threat to our communities, Stop & Shop opted to end this pay program employees deserve – and over a holiday weekend spurring high sales, to boot. The hazard and risk of COVID-19 is not over, and Stop & Shop should share its financial gains with the employees who ensured it could achieve them.”