The Save Mart Companies has made nearly 700 of 1,000 temporary workers hired during the coronavirus pandemic full-time employees.
Modesto, Calif.-based Save Mart said it initially hired the workers for part-time temporary positions in response to “overwhelming customer demand” triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak. The company ramped up its recruitment and hiring efforts and said it added nearly 1,000 temporary staff “in a matter of weeks,” with most serving as multipurpose clerks to stock shelves, help at checkout, move product or handle incoming shipments.
However, with customer demand remaining at “record-high levels,” Save Mart said it has transitioned 683 of these part-time workers to full-time jobs. The retailer operates 206 supermarkets in California and northern Nevada under the Save Mart, Lucky, Lucky California and FoodMaxx banners.
“We knew we would need to be aggressive to hire enough team members to handle increased business during the pandemic,” Lee Gelb, vice president of human resources for The Save Mart Companies, said in a statement. “As an essential business, we needed to be prepared to meet our customers’ needs and to help existing team members manage the overwhelming increase in business and the journey through this historic time.”
Save Mart noted that it worked closely with two of its unions, United Food and Commercial Workers and Teamsters, to expedite the creation of the new permanent jobs, which will expand the ranks of union employees at the grocer.
“We want to thank our unions, UFCW and the Teamsters, for their assistance in this vital process. They are great partners,” stated Doreen Dorraugh, director of labor relations at Save Mart.
Many of the new employees were hired after being furloughed by other companies hit hard by the economic downturn during the pandemic, according to Save Mart.
“We are fortunate to find so many talented and engaging team members, coming from all walks of life and every level of work experience,” commented Chad Stacy, director of talent acquisition for Save Mart.
Gelb added that The Save Mart Companies continues to hire temporary and permanent full- and part-time workers. Overall, the retailer has more than 14,000 employees. “We are very proud of the hard work and dedication that our team members have demonstrated, at every level of this organization, to keep our shelves stocked and the stores operating safely,” she said.
Along with its store network, The Save Mart Companies operates Smart Refrigerated Transport and is a partner in Super Store Industries (SSI), which owns and operates a distribution center in Lathrop, Calif., and the Sunnyside Farms dairy processing plant in Turlock, Calif.