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LA Gets One Step Closer To Pandemic Hero Pay For Grocery Store Workers

An employee scans items behind a protective shield at a grocery store in in Little Tokyo. (Chava Sanchez/ LAist)
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The Los Angeles City Council is closer to adopting a "hero pay" ordinance that would give some employees in large grocery and drug stores an extra $5 per hour during the pandemic.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to direct the city attorney's office to create a draft of the ordinance.

The City of Long Beach already adopted a similar, $4 per hour increase. In response, supermarket chain Kroger said it would close two of its stores in the city.

Asked if there could be similar closures in L.A., Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz told our newsroom's public affairs show, AirTalk, that it's possible:

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"Honestly, I think if there are market closures, it will just be out of spite on behalf of the market chains. I don't think it's because they'll struggle to survive because they pay their employees an extra $5 an hour. I mean a checker, a stocker, did not take this job to work $17 an hour, with the expectation that they'd be risking their lives."

Trader Joe's announced it would raise its workers' pay by an additional $2 an hour, starting Feb. 1. That's on top of a similar $2 an hour bump the company began offering last year.


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