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West Hollywood sued “Hero Pay” for grocery store workers

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) The California Grocers Association on Wednesday filed a federal lawsuit against the city of West Hollywood, challenging a city ordinance demanding a $ 5 pay rise for some workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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  • City council voted to require large grocery stores to give employees a $ 5 per hour pay rise for the next 120 days
  • The CGA had previously sued the towns of Montebello and Long Beach, challenging similar measures to boost the ‘pay for heroes’ in those towns.
  • A tenure of $ 5 an hour equates to a dramatic increase in labor costs for grocery stores, said Ron Fong, president and CEO of the California Grocers Association.
  • A hearing to discuss a preliminary injunction in the Long Beach case is scheduled for February 23 in federal court in Los Angeles

West Hollywood City Council voted on Tuesday to require large grocery stores to give employees a $ 5 an hour pay rise for the next 120 days.

The CGA had previously sued the towns of Montebello and Long Beach, challenging similar measures to boost the “hero wages” of those towns. A hearing to discuss a preliminary injunction in the Long Beach case is scheduled for February 23 in federal court in Los Angeles.

“In addition to clearly violating federal and state laws, additional compensation mandates will hurt customers and workers,” said Ron Fong, president and CEO of the California Grocers Association.

A $ 5-per-hour tenure equates to a dramatic increase in labor costs for grocery stores, Fong said.

“This is too big a cost increase for a food retailer to absorb without consequence,” he said. “Options are scarce. Either pass costs on to customers, cut employee or store hours, or close. Already two stores have closed in Long Beach after the city passed a $ 4 / hour wage increase. Almost 200 workers have lost these jobs. ”

The association alleges that by voting to approve the ordinances, city councils have ignored the low profit margins and large operating costs that grocers have incurred in response to the pandemic, including the hiring of tens of thousands of people. additional employees.

Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to move forward with a draft emergency ordinance that would require grocery and drugstore retailers with 300 or more employees nationwide and 10 employees or more on-site to add the risk premium of $ 5 to all non-manager hourly employees. “Salary for 120 days.

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