Since our petition was launched on April 23rd, the company moved their stance on wages, health insurance, and the employee discount.
They announced on May 3rd that:
-All crew would receive a .50 raise.
-The 20% employee discount would remain for purchases over $20.
-Health insurance coverage requirements would be changed from 30 hours to 28 per week. (crew who will begin to receive benefits because of this change won’t be covered until January 2022).
However, they also announced that:
-The remaining $2 of Thank You Pay would end by May 17th
-Employees would no longer receive extra PTO to cover obligatory absences related to COVID
-There is no word on whether we will get raises in the summer.
-Employees are no longer eligible for unpaid medical leaves of absence
Crew are still struggling with increased financial burden due to the pandemic, crew are still putting themselves and their families at risk by coming to work. We need living wages and health insurance now.
To: Trader Joe's
Trader Joe's Crew Members Demand No Cuts to Wages and Healthcare Coverage be Returned!
- The “Thank You Pay” must be made a permanent raise of 4 dollars an hour for all Trader Joe’s crew members, including those on extended leave of absence.
- The 20% Crew Member Discount must be made permanent.
- Corporate must reinstate full healthcare coverage for all current employees and expand healthcare coverage to all part- and full-time employees.
Why is this important?
We are Trader Joe’s workers writing to demand that the employee benefits introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic be made permanent and that healthcare coverage be immediately and permanently issued to all TJ’s workers risking their health and safety in stores.
When the Covid-19 pandemic started last March, Trader Joe’s workers across the country spoke up and demanded that the company institute hazard pay in order to compensate us for the tremendous risk we have undertaken by continuing to work. The company eventually gave us a two-dollar "Thank You Pay" increase and raised the employee discount to 20%. However, many stores have cut hours during the pandemic, which has resulted in a sustained loss of income for many employees.
When our "Thank You Pay” was increased to four dollars in February to comply with local laws, management made up costs by getting rid of the permanent raises employees would normally receive in the summer. Ironically, taking away the opportunity for a raise will cost the most loyal, full-time employees thousands of dollars in future income while Trader Joe’s returns to pre-pandemic level sales and profits. After only three months, the company announced that on May 1st they will take away our additional two dollars, and we fear the rest of the “Thank You Pay” is soon to follow. To add insult to injury, as the pandemic continues into spring, a huge percentage of us are vulnerable after losing our company-sponsored health insurance at the end of December when the company maintained an hour requirement many workers couldn’t meet due to cut hours, sick loved ones, and unsafe exposure in the workplace. In some cases, employees failed to meet health insurance qualifications due to quarantining or recovering after contracting the virus themselves. As essential workers who have risked ourselves and our loved ones for the last year, we should not be left without healthcare.
We deserve more than thanks. We have continued to work tirelessly, with smiles on our faces, to provide our communities with essential services and resources. The experience of working through the pandemic has been traumatic for many. What was once a normal shift can now bring on extreme panic and anxiety for many crew members. Countless employees have gotten sick with Covid-19 contracted at Trader Joe’s and some of our coworkers have lost their lives. Though Trader Joe’s claims “integrity” as a core company value, as far as we are aware, TJ’s executives have received full salaries, and possible bonuses, this past year with the option of working safely from home. We deserve thanks, but the company’s actions feel like an insult——every measure the company has taken to provide an additional “benefit” during the pandemic has been accompanied by an action that shifts the loss back on crew members. We crew the ship and we insist that Trader Joe’s meet these demands:
-The “Thank You Pay” be made a permanent raise of 4 dollars an hour for all Trader Joe’s crew members, including those on extended leave of absence.
-The 20% Crew Member Discount be made permanent.
-Reinstate full healthcare coverage for all current employees and expand healthcare coverage to all part- and full-time employees.
If TJ workers are interested in learning more about how to take action at work, reach out to an EWOC organizer today at workerorganizing.org/talk-with-an-organizer.