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CGA Press Release: Coalition of grocers, small businesses and community organizations opposes City of Long Beach extra pay mandates for grocery workers that would cost consumers and workers

Contact: Nate Rose, Senior Director of Communications, CA Grocers Association, [email protected]

Local communities need to fully analyze the negative consequences of mandatory extra pay-increase proposals before rushing to implement

Sacramento – The Long Beach City Council will vote Tuesday, January 19 on a mandate to require grocers to pay workers in the city an extra $4 per hour. This extra pay mandate is similar to other proposals being considered in Los Angeles County, City of Los Angeles, Santa Ana, West Hollywood and in some communities in Northern California. A coalition of grocers, small businesses and community organizations submitted a letter to city council members opposing the ordinance.

In addition, Ron Fong, president and CEO of the California Grocers Association, released the statement below.

Mr. Fong is also available for phone or Zoom interviews by calling or emailing Nate Rose or Kathy Fairbanks above.

“Grocery store workers are frontline heroes, and that’s why grocers have undertaken a massive effort to institute store policies to make both workers and customers safer. Many grocers have already provided workers with extra pay, appreciation bonuses and generous health benefits during the pandemic as a supplement to the fair, competitive wages and benefits collectively bargained by grocery workers’ unions.

“These extra pay mandates will not do anything to make grocery workers or customers any safer. Rather, there will be significant potential negative consequences and would likely result in higher costs for groceries and increased food insecurity that disproportionately hurts low-income families, seniors and disadvantaged communities already struggling financially. These proposals could also harm grocery workers themselves if stores are forced to reduce jobs or hours for employees due to higher costs. That’s why a coalition of grocers, small businesses and community organizations opposes these mandates.

“It doesn’t make sense to single out grocery stores for these extra pay proposals when there are many other professions and industries similarly providing essential services. Firefighters, police, health care workers, transportation, sanitation, restaurant workers and many others are essential, yet grocers are the only businesses being targeted for extra pay mandates. Local elected officials have a responsibility to all their constituents. Why are they singling out just one industry?

“The California Grocers Association will be evaluating these proposals carefully. In addition to potentially running afoul of federal law governing National Labor Relations Board rules, these extra pay mandates may also violate the equal protection clauses of both the U.S. and California constitutions.

“A vote on these knee-jerk proposals without conducting an impact assessment is premature. Local communities must take the time to carefully study the potential negative impacts for workers, families, and businesses.”

Coalition Opposed to Extra Pay Mandates:

  • California Grocers Association
  • CalAsian Chamber of Commerce
  • California Business Roundtable
  • California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce
  • Family Business Association of California
  • Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce
  • Latin Business Association
  • Long Beach Chamber of Commerce
  • Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Los Angeles County Business Federation
  • Orange County Business Council
  • San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership
  • Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Valley Industry & Commerce Association