Kwik Trip to give 26,000 workers bonuses during COVID-19 battle
Temporary raises are $2 an hour for retail workers and $100 a week for store leaders, truckers
LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Kwik Trip is giving an estimated 26,000 co-workers temporary bonuses for six weeks for continuing to work despite the added workload and stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a company official.
The bonuses, which CEO Don Zietlow announced to employees in a letter this week, will be $2 an hour for hourly retail co-workers for each hour worked between March 13 and April 23, and $2 an hour for support center workers for their hours between March 15 and April 25.
Store leaders and drivers will receive an extra $100 a week for time worked from March 13 to April 23 for store leaders and March 15 through April 25 for drivers, according to Zietlow’s letter.
This is the first time the La-Crosse based gas and convenience store chain of about 700 stores, said John McHugh, the company’s corporate communications director.
The company has offered periodic raises “either for situations or because we were profitable, but this is the first time they have been company-wide, McHugh said.
“It recognizes that co-workers have extra financial needs,” especially if their spouses are out of their jobs while other companies close down, McHugh said.
“It’s to reward our co-workers. They are showing up. Obviously, Kwik Trip has a critical role, and they are showing up,” he said.
Gas stations are among the few businesses that can stay open despite governmental directives for companies to shutter their doors to help stem the spread of coronavirus from person to person contact.
The leadership team at Kwik Trip, which has stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, where the name is Kwik Star, meets at 7 a.m. daily to discuss issues that may affect operations, McHugh said. The chain also includes several Tobacco Outlet Pluses and Hearty Platter restaurants connected with gas stations.
Asked whether the bonuses might be extended if COVID-19 still is wreaking havoc, McHugh said the leaders haven’t discussed that yet but will evaluate conditions when the current expiration dates approach.
Zietlow’s letter says, in part, “I want you to know how much we appreciate what you are doing to take care of our guests. … Our coworkers are the greatest asset Kwik Trip has. Thank you for all that you do.”