• Matt Esnayra

LB City Council Expected to Approve $4 "Hero's Pay" Raise For Grocery Workers Amid Covid Surge

The Long Beach City Council approved a draft ordinance that would require the largest grocery store chains who operate within the city limits to pay their employees an extra $4 an hour for working in the midst of the pandemic.

The least you could do... like literally:

The proposal would only affect the big grocery store companies with more than 300 employees and would last only for 120 days, with the option of being renewed by the council. If approved, the proposed ordinance would go into effect immediately.

  • The council's next meeting is not until Jan. 5., and the city attorney is expected to return with a draft ordinance for the council's consideration.

Why it matters;

Grocery store chains like Kroger, which owns Food 4 Less and Ralphs, first offered its workers a $2 an hour pay raise during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. But those pay raises ended in May, so for months, grocery store workers who were once proclaimed as heroes have been operating in hazardous conditions dealing with a deadly virus, vocal and physical abuse, and all the while living on slave wages.

  • According to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, at least 68 grocery store workers have died from COVID-19 nationwide, per the L.A-List.

  • Mayor Garcia has voiced support for the proposal on Twitter, "When large corporations don't step up to provide hazard pay for grocery workers, we will step in and protect these heroes. Thank you to the Long Beach City Council for adopting the emergency $4 hazard pay for grocery workers. I'm going to sign the law as soon as it hits my desk."

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