Long Beach

LA County passes a $ 5 “hero pay” ordinance on grocery workers • Long Beach Post News – Long Beach, California

Long Beach, California 2021-02-23 18:38:54 –

The Los Angeles County Supervisory Board voted 4-1 today to give national grocery and drug retailers in the county’s unincorporated area an additional risk or “hero pay” of $ 5 per hour for the next 120 days. We have adopted an urgent ordinance that requires payment. ..

Director Kathryn Berger voted against the bill, which would come into effect immediately, because of unintended consequences and concerns that the ordinance only covers “small pieces” of the essential workforce.

Supervisors Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell are temporary “emergency” ordinances that apply to store chains that are listed or have at least 300 employees nationwide and more than 10 employees per store. Co-authored a motion to seek. Solis pointed out that it saves profits as one justification, but mentioned an analysis that included not only grocery stores and drug retailers, but also retailers such as Amazon and The Home Depot.

However, according to a Brookings Institution study, some grocery stores in the listed countries, such as Kroger and Albertson, enjoyed even higher profits.

“Gourmet and drug retail employees continue to report working and serving in our community, despite the ongoing danger and danger of exposure to COVID-19.” Said Solis. “These workers, many of whom include the elderly and single mothers, have lived to maintain our food supply chain and provide access to the medicines our families need since the pandemic began. Many people are afraid and work without adequate financial support, but employers continue to grow profits and executives receive high bonuses. “

Berger wondered if someone on the board digs deeper into the employer’s income statement and shares statistics from the California Food Association to see if the average annual profit is 2.2%.

“I’m concerned about the unintended consequences of this board directing private sector salaries. Stores can generally pass on additional labor costs through price increases, but affected labor. It can also reduce the amount of time people spend and the number of employees they hire, “says Berger.

Kroger closed two Long Beach stores (Ralphs location and Food 4 Less store) earlier this month in response to the Long Beach Ordinance requiring some workers to raise their “Hero Pay” salary by $ 4. I announced that. Mr Berger said the board worked hard to fill the “food desert” of unincorporated areas.

“I’m afraid that the mandatory’hero pay’in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County will only exacerbate these concerns,” Berger said.

January 19th Long Beach became the first city Pass the Hero Salary OrdinanceA large grocery store demands that workers pay $ 4 more per hour for 120 days.

The California Grocers Association has since filed federal proceedings against the cities of Long Beach, West Hollywood and Montebello, declaring the hazard pay mandated by these cities invalid and unconstitutional, and grocery stores are priced. Claims that it cannot absorb additional pay without raising. , Store closure, time savings, or employee dismissal.

“Additional wage obligations will have serious and unintended consequences not only for grocery stores, but also for their workers and their customers,” said Ron Fong, CGA’s president and CEO. “The obligation to pay an additional $ 5 per hour is equivalent to a 28% increase in labor costs. It’s huge. Grocery stores can’t absorb those costs and the negative impact is avoided. not.”

According to Solis, the county’s emergency regulations, which set in 120 days, reflect the regulations approved by the City of Los Angeles.

Solis and Mitchell said some grocery companies offered $ 2 to $ 4 an hour increase at the start of the pandemic, but additional support expired in May. In addition to increased salaries and spot bonuses, some grocery stores have stepped up benefits since March, creating tens of thousands of new jobs across the state, according to the association. Mitchell emphasized that some of the workers, “contrary to great potential, continue to appear for all of us every day,” are one of the most vulnerable county inhabitants.

“Additional compensation … It won’t eliminate all inequality, but it will provide some amnesty,” said Mitchell, who said some full-time employees “have so many because their income is very low. You are eligible for public benefits. “

The ordinance is structured to allow employees to choose paid leave instead of additional wages if additional income causes loss of access to such benefits.

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