PepsiCo plans to take on 6,000 new workers over the “coming months” to meet the extra retail demand from the Covid-19 outbreak as the food and beverages giant announced compensation packages for its US-based employees.
The packages will apply to more than 90,000 “frontline” staff at its beverages and food divisions across North America and “consists of a minimum of an incremental US$100 per week for full-time employees over the next month”. The additional full-time workers will be offered full company benefits, PepsiCo said in a statement.
Ramon Laguarta, PepsiCo’s chairman and chief executive of the Frito-Lay crisps owner, said: “With Covid-19 reshaping the way we run our business and live our lives, it’s important that we acknowledge the people keeping us steady during turbulent times, notably the heroic work of the millions of doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals around the world.
“At the same time, there is important work being done in other sectors, including our own, to help maintain the supply of foods and beverages. We couldn’t be prouder of our PepsiCo team for the role they play in restocking pantries and refrigerators.”
Employees having to self-isolate will receive 100% of their pay in the 14-day quarantine period and their accrued sick days will not be affected.
And workers who are either showing symptoms or have been diagnosed with coronavirus, or Covid-19, will receive 100% of their pay during the 14 days: “employees will receive sick pay/short-term disability benefits, which will provide a minimum of two-thirds of their pay, for up to ten weeks”.
In addition, staff who work at a facility forced to close because of coronavirus will receive full pay for up to 12 weeks.
Benefits will also apply to PepsiCo workers having to take care of a family member and those impacted by school shutdowns with respect to caring for children.
“Our frontline employees – the people you see stocking your favourite bags of chips or canisters of oats, the people driving those products there and the ones originally making them in plants across the country – are the backbone of PepsiCo Foods and we appreciate their heroic efforts,” said Steven Williams, the CEO of PepsiCo Foods North America.
PepsiCo is also taking measures to protect the health and safety of its employees including increased cleaning of facilities, providing protective gloves, visitor screening, and, “where possible, decreasing routing and merchandising to minimise exposure”.