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Media statement | The SDA applauds Costco’s COVID-19 payment to it workers

Statement from Gerard Dwyer, National Secretary, the SDA:

The SDA applauds Costco for its decision to pay all hourly employees an additional $3 per hour for hours worked for the five weeks from March 2nd to April 5th as well as $750 in total for salaried employees “in recognition of your hard work during this unprecedented time”.

Other major supermarket chains, which have been very busy, should step up immediately.

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.

The SDA reiterates its call for “Essential Service Payment” of $5 per hour for all frontline workers – including those at supermarkets, pharmacies, petrol stations and convenience stores – who will need to stay at work while more and more of the community moves into working or staying at home.

Steps foreshadowed by the Prime Minister, Premiers and Chief Ministers mean that in coming weeks it is likely that only essential services will be allowed to continue to operate in many parts of Australia.

As this occurs supermarkets and some other retail outlets will be deemed by governments to be ‘essential’ and required to continue to trade.

Not only would workers in these essential outlets be working harder, it would be more stressful and riskier to their physical health.

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.

The SDA estimates that around 4,000 Costco employees will benefit from the company’s decision.