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Valley Industry & Commerce Association Press Release: County Seeks to Make Groceries More Expensive for Residents with “Hero Pay”

Van Nuys, Calif. – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has introduced a motion to create an ordinance, which would require grocery stores in unincorporated areas of the County of Los Angeles to pay their workers an additional five dollars per hour in wages, calling it “Hero Pay.”

VICA President Stuart Waldman said:

“During the COVID19 crisis, businesses have been working tirelessly to keep their employees and customers safe, complying with constantly changing and costly regulations. “Hero Pay” would add additional significant costs, irreparably damaging our local economy.

“The Board of Supervisors must complete a thorough economic and policy analysis before voting on any Grocery Hazard Pay ordinance. We need to know how this will affect workers, consumers and small grocers. We should know the economic impacts before moving ahead with these types of policies.

“Grocery store workers have truly been on the front lines of the crisis, ensuring we have access to safe and reliable food supplies throughout the pandemic. And as an acknowledgement of that, grocers have undertaken massive efforts and spent millions of dollars to institute policies that keep both workers and customers safe.

“Grocers have also provided workers with bonuses, time off, extra pay and other benefits in addition to their negotiated pay.

“A five dollars per hour increase amounts to about 30 percent of wages. That cost will have to be passed to consumers in the form of higher grocery costs. We all know many consumers cannot afford higher costs right now. Too many in our region and state are struggling to get by as it is.

“The County cannot expect these suffocating provisions from businesses when they are not themselves providing “Hero Pay” to the countless county employees that are keeping our region running.

“VICA thanks our frontline workers, but the County needs to reconsider this costly and unnecessary provision.

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The mission of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA) is to enhance the economic vitality of the greater San Fernando Valley region by advocating for a better business climate and quality of life. Visit www.vica.com for more information.