Long Beach CA: Kroger to Close 2 Stores in Response to $4 Hourly ‘Hero Pay’ Ordinance

Ralphs Long Beach, Youtube
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Southern California: The Long Beach City Council passed a mandate requiring some companies with more than 300 employees to pay an extra $4 per hour to employees for hazard pay, called “Hero Pay. The measure backfired. Ralphs and Food 4 Less, owned by the parent company Kroger will be closing on April 17 due to the ordinance.

Kroger, which issued a $2 pay boost at the start of the pandemic, noted that it has already spent about $1.3 billion to reward associates and implement dozens of coronavirus-related safety measures since last March. Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia said that Kroger is making double what they normally make off the pandemic and they’re making it on the backs of these workers. A similar measure, increasing hourly wages for some companies by $5 per hour, was also approved by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors last month. The California Grocers Association filed a legal challenge to the mandate calling it unconstitutional. -GEG

Kroger, the parent company of Ralphs and Food 4 Less, will soon shut down two stores in Long Beach, California in response to the city imposing a “hero pay” increase of $4 per hour for some grocery store workers.

A Ralphs and a Food 4 Less are slated to close on April 17, the company said Monday.

In announcing the closure, Kroger cited a recently passed Long Beach City Council ordinance that mandated the hazard pay bump for at least 120 days amid the increased health risk to workers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The new law affects grocery stores with at least 300 employees nationwide or more than 15 employees per market in the city.

“As a result of the City of Long Beach’s decision to pass an ordinance mandating Extra Pay for grocery workers, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close long-struggling store locations in Long Beach,” a company spokesperson said in a news release. “This misguided action by the Long Beach City Council oversteps the traditional bargaining process and applies to some, but not all, grocery workers in the city.”

Kroger, which issued a $2 pay boost at the start of the pandemic, noted that it has already spent about $1.3 billion to reward associates and implement dozens of coronavirus-related safety measures since March when the virus’ spread began accelerating in the U.S. That’s on top of other additional benefits offered to employees during the pandemic, including paid emergency leave, the company said.

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James Gardner
James Gardner
11 months ago

Facts and truth have a way of sticking around because they really exist. This so called “Hero Pay” is another job killing appeal for the ignorant, from the incompetent. “All y’all out there in Long Beach need to recall the City Council; all of ‘em. Goggle “RECALL ELECTION.” Excuse me, us sounthern folk has troublr spellin’ Goo-Gell. If you do too: GOOGLE. The whole nation is in emotional disarray: Covid, Trump, Biden etc. lot’s of ‘etc.:’ “OH! WE WON! WE WON!” or “we lost, boo-hoo.” Most of us haven’t the time to keep up with the “latest improvements” in sex,… Read more »

Alan Myers
Alan Myers
11 months ago

How is it that government entities find it so easy to legislate how to spend the monies of a privately owned business? Oh yeah, they get their paycheck because they are on the fun end of taxation. If the legislators want workers in grocery stores to be paid more per hour, then take a few bucks out of their wallets and hand it over. Oh that ain’t gonna happen, cause that would mean the legislators would have to lead by example and not by edict.

Gourdhead
Gourdhead
11 months ago

Morons in government have no concept of business in any form.

ah1marine
ah1marine
11 months ago

I hope those that worked at those stores understand it is their politicians to blame.
I’m sure most if not all of them would rather have the same pay they had before than nothing and trying to find a job in this job market.

Last edited 11 months ago by ah1marine