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No Hero Pay For Pasadena Grocery Workers

Jobs in the grocery industry are actually down slightly from last year in the greater L.A. area. Chava Sanchez/LAist
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A proposal to consider a temporary pay bump for Pasadena’s frontline workers, known as "hero pay," failed last night in a four-to-four vote in the City Council.

Those opposed to the measure, including councilmember Tyron Hampton, cited unintended consequences, such as price hikes and layoffs.

"To call this progressive — I'm sorry, it's not," Hampton said."At the end of the day, realistically, if they are going to lay off people, if they are going to cut people's hours, you know whose hours they are going to cut? People that look like me, and the people that are of color."

But Councilmember Jess Rivas, who supported the motion, argued grocery workers are in a unique situation.

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"They've stepped up and put their health on the line to make sure that we've all been able to stay safer at home," Rivas said. "And in doing so, they face higher infection rates and mortality rates than the rest of us."

Long Beach and several other cities recently passed a temporary $4-per-hour increase. L.A., Santa Monica and West Hollywood approved similar measures, at the rate of $5-per-hour.

The California Grocers Association is challenging several of these ordinances in court.

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