Trader Joe's raised its minimum wage by $4 per hour for all workers during the pandemic

Trader Joe's raised its minimum wage by $4 per hour for all workers during the pandemic
Trader Joe's. Joe Raedle/Getty ImagesJoe Raedle/Getty Images
  • Trader Joe's raised all workers' wages $4 per hour in response to a city council mandate.
  • Seattle City Council voted to require grocers to increase wages.

Trader Joe's increased its hourly wage for all employees by $2 at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic last year, and raised it another $2 Monday, following a mandate from the Seattle City Council and other lawmakers along the West Coast.

The temporary $4 total per hour pay raise is a "thank you," for crew members "in recognition of the outstanding, inspiring work they do every day, in our stores and communities," the company said on its website.

Last week, the Seattle City Council joined other cities in California in passing a mandate requiring grocers to give employees a temporary "hazard pay" raise during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Seattle Times reported. The mandate requires a $4 per hour raise for employees.

"Grocery store workers are sacrificing their health to make sure shelves are stocked," the council wrote in a statement. "But we should not treat grocery store workers as sacrificial, when they are essential to feeding Seattle families and putting food on our tables."

Read more: Retail saw big winners and losers in 2020. Here's how experts and insiders think the winners can keep winning in 2021 - and the losers could turn things around.


Trader Joe's said the raise would continue throughout the pandemic or until employees are eligible for the vaccine, according to the Seattle Times, which cited a letter from management posted on a staff bulletin board at a Seattle store. The letter also said the company would cancel its midyear raises for the year, which are generally 65 to 75 cents an hour.

A representative from Trader Joe's wasn't immediately available for comment.

Trader Joe's, along with other chains such as Dollar General and Aldi, has already begun offering employees incentives to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The grocer said it would offer workers two hours of pay per application of the two-dose vaccines.

"Throughout the pandemic, we have invested in a comprehensive safety program, and we have voluntarily and continuously rewarded our crew members' work during this unprecedented time," a spokesperson told Insider in an emailed statement after the vaccine incentive announcement.