- J.B. Hunt Transport Services will provide a one-time bonus of $500 for 23,000 drivers and personnel at field operations and customer facilities supporting the drivers, according to a press release Monday.
- J.B. Hunt, one of the largest trucking firms, said the bonus was related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The bonus will be available to eligible employee drivers, as well as field employees and managers in terminals, intermodal ramps, maintenance shops, contract service account locations, and final-mile distribution centers. The bonus will be paid on March 27.
The COVID-19 pandemic, which is continuing to hamper the U.S. and global economies, is not slowing freight — for now. The pandemic has caused consumers to stock up on food, medicine and other supplies. Many fleets are seeing increased demand for their services.
That has put increased pressure on drivers and support employees.
In response, many fleets are beefing up their pay and benefits to hold on to drivers. The industry was already experiencing a shortage of drivers, and the pandemic would likely be a tougher time to fill open slots. UPS recently reached an agreement with the Teamsters on sick pay if employees have to take time off because of COVID-19. J.B. Hunt's CEO said he appreciated what his workers have done.
"All of our employees have gone above and beyond the call to action during this crisis," said John Roberts, J.B. Hunt CEO, in a news release. "They have kept pace with the evolving supply chain needs of our customers in the face of great uncertainty. These bonuses serve as a token of our appreciation for their service and hard work during these unprecedented times." No other types of one-time bonuses for other employees or executives are planned right now, according to J.B. Hunt.
To assure workers about safety and coronavirus policy, J.B. Hunt officials said the company established internal protocols, including travel restrictions, self-quarantining, social distancing and other safety precautions. The company said it is providing employees with hand sanitizer and gloves, and established an emergency COVID-19 paid time off policy for employees who are unable to work due to the illness or quarantine.