Los Angeles (CBSLA) — Los Angeles County Supervisory Board votes 4-1 on Tuesday to pay national grocery and drug retailers in the county’s unincorporated area an additional $ 5 per hour for the next 120 days of hazard pay We have adopted an ordinance that requires that.
Supervisors Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell have motions that take effect immediately, are listed, or apply to store chains with at least 300 employees nationwide and 10 or more employees per store. Co-authored.
“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. I’ve been hanging. “
According to Solis, retailers have increased profits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but workers have not received the necessary support.
“Many people are afraid and work without adequate financial support, but employers continue to grow profits and executives receive high bonuses,” she said.
Director Kathryn Berger voted against the bill because of unintended consequences and concerns that the ordinance only covers “small pieces” of the essential workforce.
“I’m concerned about the unintended consequences of this board directing private sector salaries,” she said. “Stores can generally pass on additional labor costs through price increases, but they can also reduce the time of affected workers and the number of employees hired.”
Earlier this month Kroger announced that it will close two stores in Long Beach —Food4Less and Ralphs—In response to the Long Beach Ordinance, which requires some workers to raise $ 4 an hour.
And that California Food Association filed a federal proceeding We are trying to declare the mandatory hazard pay invalid and unconstitutional to Long Beach, West Hollywood and Montebello.
“Additional wage obligations are not seriously intended for workers and their customers, as well as grocery stores,” Ron Fong, CGA’s president and CEO, said in a hearing in the case. It will bring results. ” “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.”
A federal judge in Los Angeles heard the debate on Tuesday, but made no decision on the association’s request for a preliminary injunction to suspend the enforcement of the Long Beach Ordinance.
According to Solis, the county’s emergency regulations reflect the regulations approved by the City of Los Angeles. The ordinance also allows employees to choose paid leave instead of additional wages if additional income results in loss of access to public benefits.
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