City Market gives bonus pay to employees working during COVID-19

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People working at City Market just scored a pay increase. 

Union employees advocated for their work in the midst of COVID-19 and can now make an extra $120 per week through early May. City Market, which operates two stores in Burlington, announced the decision Monday.

Grocery stores are considered critical businesses in Vermont and the employees at City Market called for “hazard pay” amid COVID-19, a disease related to the coronavirus that initially impacted people in China toward the end of last year.

“As we continue to put our personal health and safety at risk to do the work we love serving our community, we demand and deserve hazard pay, now,” the union representing City Market employees wrote on Facebook on March 23.

Hazard pay is defined as “additional pay for performing hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor

This decision to provide bonuses emerged from an agreement with the union team, according to an online update from John Tashiro, City Market’s general manager. The guidelines for eligible union employees are as follows:

  • Employed as of March 28 (or later) can get bonus pay from March 15 to May 2. 
  • The bonus amounts to $120 for each pay period (which is weekly) “based on a 40-hour work week.”

This is subject to change if Gov. Phil Scott extends his state of emergency for Vermont. 

Symptoms of the disease can include fever, cough and breathing trouble. Most develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal. 

Contact Maleeha Syed at mzsyed@freepressmedia.com or 802-495-6595. Follow her on Twitter @MaleehaSyed89

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