Chobani increases starting wage to minimum $15 per hour

By Jim Cornall contact

- Last updated on GMT

Chobani said its commitment is to put people over profits.  Pic: Chobani
Chobani said its commitment is to put people over profits. Pic: Chobani

Related tags: Chobani, Yogurt, Yoghurt, Greek yogurt

US Greek yogurt maker Chobani has announced the company's starting hourly wage will increase to at least $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum wage.

The company said the commitment is to put people over profits with robust employee benefits. The changes take effect in the first quarter of 2021.

Chobani's average hourly rate at the company's manufacturing plants in South Edmeston, New York, and Twin Falls, Idaho, will be approximately $19 an hour –above the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. And for Chobani's hourly employees in New York City, including those who work at the Chobani Café in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, the company is raising minimum starting wages to $18 an hour, given the region's high cost of living.

Currently, approximately 70% of Chobani's employees are paid hourly.

"This moment of uncertainty is a call for us to join together to strengthen communities and support those working tirelessly to make the food on the tables of families across America,"​ said Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani.

"Businesses should serve the people and communities in which they operate. Raising our base starting salary is the right thing to do and we hope other businesses, particularly food manufacturers, feel the same as we all work toward rebuilding our country."

In addition to full healthcare benefits and a company-sponsored retirement plan, Chobani said it also offers special bonuses and support for frontline workers. Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Chobani said it has implemented health and safety measures to keep its people and their families safe, including PPE, meals and increased financial benefits. The company created additional ways to support its employees, including paying special incremental bonuses to all hourly plant employees for the past three quarters, which are continuing, and an ongoing daily childcare subsidy to support those who found themselves without childcare options due to closed schools and childcare centers.

The company also has a rewards program, Chobani Rewards, an initiative that allows every full-time employee to share in the growth of Chobani.

Also, in 2017, Chobani implemented a new paid parental leave policy, offering 100% paid parental leave for six weeks for all full-time hourly and salaried employees. The program extends to all parents for the birth, adoption, or placement of a foster child into the home. In addition, the company covers three rounds of IVF and fertility preservation for all full-time employees, including hourly frontline workers.

Chobani said it is committed to pay equity throughout the company.  Each year, Chobani conducts a pay equity analysis to ensure that employees in similar job levels are being paid fairly based on justifiable compensation factors, like their tenure and performance.

Chobani has established and standardized pay ranges for hourly roles, leading to greater transparency around compensation and setting clear expectations with employees for their growth over time within the organization.

Related topics: Manufacturers, Yogurt and Desserts

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1 comment

Wage boost

Posted by Betty locaso,

I only buy Chobani yogurt from when they first started because of their commitment to their workers and communities around them. I drive by their New Berlin plant and it is amazing how they continue to grow. When I saw that they were raising the wage for their workers I thought this is the way company’s should be run. So you have my continued loyalty to I might add a great product.

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