Grocery and drug store employees could see a $5 increase per hour if the ordinance is approved later this month.
On Tuesday, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to provide additional ‘hero pay’ to grocery and drug store workers. The motion, put forward by Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis and Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell, would require publicly traded companies or have at least 300 employees nationwide and more than 10 employees per store site to increase staff wages by $5 per hour.
Proud to co-author this motion with Board Chair @HildaSolis. Our frontline workers – grocery clerks and drug retail employees show up for us everyday, putting their own lives at risk. We have to acknowledge the sacrifices these workers are making and compensate them accordingly. https://t.co/4gQ456YKHL
— Holly J. Mitchell (@HollyJMitchell) January 5, 2021
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, these workers have continued to show up to their jobs despite the dangers of being exposed to COVID-19. Because of their work on the frontlines, families throughout the County have been able to access food and medicine they need during the pandemic,” said Chair Solis.
The motion requests that the county’s attorneys draft an ordinance for the ‘hero pay,’ which the board will vote on in the next public meeting on January 26. Four out of five supervisors on the five-member board voted to move forward with the proposal. However, Supervisor Kathryn Barger abstained from voting, noting concerns of the overlooked consequences.
According to a statement by Chair Solis, grocery retailers in L.A. have experienced a surge in outbreaks with 500 businesses currently under investigation by the Department of Public Health alone. She adds that these retailers have continued to expand their market share while low-wage workers struggle to pay bills leaving no other choice but to face the health threats daily.
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