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Cub Foods, Kowalski's giving workers a raise during COVID crisis

Grocery store workers are now considered emergency workers during the COVID crisis.

Twin Cities grocery chains Cub Foods and Kowalski's are giving their workers a raise during the coronavirus crisis.

Grocery stores have become even more of a vital resource during the statewide shutdown and have been doing huge business as customers stock up as they practice social distancing.

And Cub Foods, the largest store network in the Twin Cities metro, says it has seen its sales "literally double overnight" as a result, and will be rewarding its hard-working staff as a result.

The company's CEO Mike Stigers sent a letter to employees Thursday informing them that their pay will increase by $2 an hour backdated to Sunday until Saturday, Apr. 11.

What's more, their overtime rate will increase from time-and-a-half to double time immediately. Cub Foods' wages start at $12-$14 per hour for part-time workers.

"These temporary adjustments are a small way for us to show our appreciation to each of you for your dedication to Cub, to each other, to our customers, and to our communities," Stigers wrote.

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Cub isn't the only grocery chain providing extra to support to its workers, with Kowalski's Markets offering a similar pay bump.

The Star Tribune reports the company is also increasing pay by $2 an hour and shifting overtime pay to double-time for all full and part-time workers, albeit the rate ends a week earlier than Cub's, on Apr. 4.

The newspaper notes that Aldi is expected to make an announcement regarding staff pay later on Thursday.

Grocery workers in Minnesota are now considered "essential tier 2 workers" following an emergency declaration from Gov. Tim Walz, which means that school districts have to provide childcare for grocery workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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