Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



July 7, 2020

Sen. Osten Urges Stop & Shop to Continue Hazard Pay For Store Employees

SPRAGUE – Citing the ongoing nature of the coronavirus pandemic and the mandated public health guidelines still in place across the state, state Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) today joined her Senate Democratic Caucus leadership in urging the Stop & Shop chain of grocery stores to continue the COVID-19 hazard pay it had been providing its frontline workers since April, but which Stop & Shop just cancelled on Independence Day, July 4.

“There are Stop & Shops in Norwich, Uncasville, Groton, Waterford and East Lyme that still mandate face masks and social distancing and one-way aisles and that have dividers between customers and checkout clerks. And they have all of those precautions in place because the coronavirus continues to be a threat in Connecticut. And if it’s still a threat, then these essential workers still deserve hazard pay for putting themselves at risk,” Sen. Osten said. “There’s a reason why, just a few weeks ago, that Stop & Shop corporate officials demanded that federal and state governments declare their employees to be ‘extended first responders’ or ‘emergency personnel.’ That was the right thing to do then. But their status hasn’t changed, and the coronavirus is still infecting and killing people in Connecticut, so this hazard pay program should continue.”

Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven) and Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) today took issue with Stop & Shop’s corporate decision to prematurely end the surplus pay program for its employees, which was implemented at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. They said while transmission of the coronavirus has declined in Connecticut, COVID-19 transmissions continue across the state to this day, and that puts grocery store workers on the pandemic front line.

In April, Stop & Shop implemented a 10 percent “appreciation pay” increase for employees in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island; that program ended on July 4.

Last year, Sen. Osten joined striking Stop & Shop workers on the picket line when Stop & Shop proposed a new labor contract requiring greater employee contributions to healthcare, changes to Sunday premium pay, and a reduction in pension benefits for new employees.

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts, has $13 billion in annual sales and employs 170,000 people in more than 400 stores throughout New York, New England and New Jersey. Stop & Shop controls 21% of the grocery store market in both Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Sen. Osten urged individuals who believe that the Stop & Shop employee appreciation pay program should continue to speak with their local Stop & Shop store manager, or to call Stop & Shop’s corporate customer relations department at 1-800-767-7772, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.