Retail chain Kroger has closed two local grocery stores in Southern California, claiming that it cannot pay workers an extra $ 4 an hour ‘Hero Pay’ during the coronovirus epidemic.
Ralph & Food 4 Lace in Long Beach had their doors closed and shelves empty on Saturday, when Kroger insisted it was impossible for them to operate ‘underperforming stores’.
The city approved a coronovirus ‘Hero Pay’ ordinance in January that required retail stores and pharmacies with 300 or more workers, or more than 15 employees per location, due to the dangers of working in-between employees. To pay more. Ubiquitous epidemic.
In Kröger stores, which include Ralph and Food 4 Lace, this means that eligible employees received an additional $ 4 an hour for at least 120 days.
Kröger has closed two of its California stores, including one Ralph (pictured), after which employees were instructed to pay $ 4 an hour ‘Hero Pay’ during the epidemic.
In February, Kroger responded that it would be financially impossible to keep these ‘long-struggling’ stores open, if it was necessary to pay the increased wages in four months.
“The irreparable damage that will be caused to employees and local citizens as a direct result of the winning and losing effort on the city and the city’s Long Beach is very unfortunate,” the company said in a statement.
‘We are really sad that our partners and customers will eventually be the real victims of the actions of the city council.’
Santiago Vasquez has been working for a year at Ralph’s part-time, reported CBSLA All his co-workers were offered jobs elsewhere, but the transfer did not mean much to him.
“I was offered to be with the company at Huntington Beach and Seal Beach,” he said. ‘But I will only do minimum wage work around where I live.’
In February, Kroger said it would be financially impossible to keep these ‘long-struggling’ stores open, if it was necessary to pay the increased wages in four months
Ralph and Food4Lace had closed their doors and emptied the shelves on Saturday after Kröger insisted that it was impossible for them to operate what they called ‘underperforming stores’.
Before the ordinance was signed in January, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia tweeted that the grocery staff were ‘at the forefront of this epidemic and deserve this support’. He also wrote that grocers made record profits in the midst of the epidemic.
FOX11 The report pointed out that the issue has been at the center of several protests with participating union members, residents, community activists and staff.
Union leaders said the closure is only punishing workers and communities around these shops, with the closure affecting an estimated 200 workers.
Other California cities have also approved the measures, stating that companies adopt ‘Hero Pay’ for employees working during the epidemic.
Long Beach Food 4 Lace, also owned by the Kroger retail chain, closed its doors on Saturday, weeks after the ‘Hero Pay’ ordinance was issued.
There have been several protests about the ‘Hero Pay’ ordinance, in which participating union members, residents, community activists and employees have voiced their disagreement.
In March, the Los Angeles City Council passed an ordinance requiring companies to pay an additional $ 5 per hour to their non-managerial employees.
The California Grocers Association was among those opposed to ‘Hero Pay’, claiming that the additional pay mandate would harm customers and workers without doing anything to boost their safety.
Exactly a year ago, Kroger announced that it would offer a ‘Hero Bonus’ as a thank you to all its employees working on the Coronovirus frontline, but it was just $ 2 per hour.
The nation’s largest independent grocery staff paid additional salaries to employees in its stores, as well as working as part of the supply chain, and in pharmacies and call centers for shifts between March 29 and April 18, 2020. .