Chobani sets $15 floor for starting hourly wage

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

'Raising our base starting salary is the right thing to do' (picture: Chobani)
'Raising our base starting salary is the right thing to do' (picture: Chobani)

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Chobani has unveiled plans to increase its starting hourly wage from the first quarter of 2021 from $13 to at least $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum wage ($7.25).

As a result, Chobani's average hourly rate at its manufacturing plants in South Edmeston, New York, and Twin Falls, Idaho, will be approximately $19 an hour, said the company, which says around 70% of employees are paid hourly.

Hourly employees in New York City, including those who work at the Chobani Café in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, will see an increase in minimum starting wages from $15 to $18 an hour, meanwhile, said founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya.

"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 healthcare benefits and a company-sponsored retirement plan, Chobani offers:

  • Bonuses and support for frontline workers​ including special incremental bonuses to hourly plant employees, and a daily childcare subsidy to support staff without childcare options due to closed schools and childcare centers.
  • Chobani Rewards​, an initiative that allows full-time employees to take an ownership stake in the business.
  • Paid parental leave for six weeks​ for all full-time hourly and salaried employees, which extends to all parents for the birth, adoption, or placement of a foster child into the home. Chobani also covers three rounds of IVF and fertility preservation for all full-time employees, including hourly frontline workers.

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