Front-Line Support: CG Brands Thanking Workforces with Cash Bonuses

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A number of companies are showing their gratitude toward their front-line employees during the coronavirus health crisis in the form of raised wages and bonuses.

Front-Line Support: CG Brands Thanking Workforces with Cash Bonuses

By Lisa Johnston - 03/26/2020

A number of consumer goods brands are showing their gratitude toward their front-line employees during the coronavirus health crisis in the form of cash bonuses.

As demand for food and other essentials has skyrocketed, many food and beverage manufacturers face the difficult task of maintaining, or even increasing, production while keeping their employees safe. To acknowledge the hardship this places on their workforces, and to demonstrate their appreciation, companies such as Mondelez, PepsiCo, Campbell Soup Company, J.M. Smucker and Hormel are temporarily raising wages and paying out bonuses to affected employees.

“As a global branded food company, we play a critical role in providing safe, high-quality food during this unprecedented time,” said Jim Snee, chairman of the board, president and CEO at Hormel Foods, which will pay more than $4 million in a special cash bonus to its plant production employees. All full-time team members will receive $300 and part-time members will receive $150.

“Our incredible team of more than 13,000 plant professionals is the backbone of our company,” he added, “and this special bonus is one way we can continue to thank them for how they have risen to the challenge and continue to produce food with a sense of purpose and pride.”

Mondelez International U.S. is issuing a $2 per hour increase that’s based on the number of hours worked from March 23 through May 2, for its manufacturing, distribution and sales hourly employees. This will be paid out in a lump sum. Sales representatives, meanwhile, will receive a $125 per-week bonus.

All told, 10,000 frontline employees will receive an extra payment.

PepsiCo is paying its 90,000-plus frontline employees at PepsiCo Beverages North America and PepsiCo Foods North America a minimum of an incremental $100 per week for full-time employees over the next month.

Employees are also eligible for a "Crisis Care" reimbursement of $100 a day for child care.

"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."

Campbell Soup Company is implementing $2 per hour pay increases for all employees at its production facilities and distribution centers.

It’s also providing a $100 per-week bonus for front-line supervisors, certain site staff and depot managers who are reporting to work as essential infrastructure workers, as well as employees who oversee Campbell’s in-store sales execution teams.

The payments will be extended to about 11,000 employees for at least five weeks beginning March 29.

J.M. Smucker is issuing a one-time $1,500 “hardship award” to its 5,700 employees in manufacturing, distribution and other functions. It described it as “a gesture of gratitude for how employees have embraced the challenges presented by COVID-19 and to support any financial needs they may have due to the impact of COVID-19.”