Wholesale giant Costo is set to give its workers a significant pay increase to recognise their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
All casual workers at Costco’s 12 Australian stores will receive an additional $3-an-hour back-dated from March 2 and extending to April 5.
Staff who receive a salary will be handed a lump sum of $750.
Staff members (pictured) in mask assists shoppers buying toilet paper at Costco Perth on March 19, 2020 in Australia
A police presence is seen as customers line up waiting to enter Costco Perth on March 19, 2020 in Australia
Gerard Dwyer, the National Secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association said other companies trading through unprecedented time of crisis should also follow suit.
‘Other major supermarket chains, which have been very busy, should step up immediately,’ he said.
‘Without the efforts of these workers, households would find it increasingly difficult to get the food, fuel and medical supplies they need while keeping the general community as safe as possible.’
Mr Dwyer is calling for an Essential Service Payment of $5-an-hour to be implemented for all workers at supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations and convenience stores.
As other members of the community are being told to stay at home, these workers are continuing to put themselves at risk for the community, he said.
‘Costco’s action sets an example for the others. It is an acknowledgement of the service Costco workers are providing — an acknowledgement of the risks they are taking to keep the community fed and healthy,’ Mr Dwyer said.
Shoppers line the aisles at Costco Perth on March 19, 2020 in Australia, as wholesaler limits toilet paper sales to one per customer in response to COVID-19 panic buying
A shopper inspects the cold storage section with her dog in the trolley at Costco Perth on March 19, 2020 in Australia
In response to the recent surge in panic-buying brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Costco CEO Patrick Noone said the store is making adjustments to deal with the current situation.
‘We’ve increased our protocols in sanitising surfaces, including shopping cart handles, merchandise shelves, front-end belts and registers,’ he said.
‘Limits have been implemented on certain items to help ensure more members are able to access the merchandise they want and need.
‘Our buyers and suppliers are working to ensure in-demand merchandise as well as everyday favourites are available in our warehouses.’
Costco currently has around 4000 staff in Australia.
Staff members pictured wearing masks assist shoppers buying toilet paper at Costco Perth on March 19, 2020 in Australia