Coles has awarded a one-off bonus to its staff to recognise their work during Australia's coronavirus outbreak.
The Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association union revealed late Friday that the supermarket giant will award up to $750 as a "thank you payment":
$750 for department managers
$500 for full-time employees
$250 for part-time employees
$200 for casual staff employed before March 1
$100 for casual staff employed after March 1
The news of the bonus came just as some media outlets revealed the launch of a $150 million class action against Coles on behalf of staff who had been underpaid over a period of six years.
Coles' move also follows Woolworths' revelation earlier this month that it would pay a one-off reward to its staff for their hard work over the past 10 weeks.
That payment is reportedly $5 per hour calculated retrospectively for time worked during the frantic coronavirus outbreak period.
At the height of the fear-driven panic buying, supermarket staff copped verbal and physical abuse from some customers frustrated with low stock levels.
The union had been pursuing an "essential services" payment from the major supermarkets for several weeks.
"The SDA welcomes this payment as an important first step towards recognising your efforts in continuing to work under extremely difficult circumstances when most other Australians stayed home," stated the union.
While health and safety expenses rose, Woolworths and Coles were rare businesses in the past three months to record increased sales, courtesy of Australians staying home and stocking up on groceries.
Coles recorded a 13.1 per cent growth in sales for the last quarter while Woolworths chalked up a 10 per cent boost.