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LA’s Battle Over ‘Hero Pay’ For Grocery Store Workers




Essential workers keep businesses open and serve customers during COVID-19 pandemic.
Essential workers keep businesses open and serve customers during COVID-19 pandemic.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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On Tuesday, the Los Angeles City Council backed a measure that would make grocery stores give their workers $5 dollar hazard pay raises. 

This is the latest in the fight over “hero pay,” which advocates say grocery store workers deserve for putting themselves at risk during the pandemic to provide an essential service. 

But some larger grocery stores have pushed back, saying that the pay raises aren’t financially viable. After Long Beach passed a $4 pay bump requirement for grocery store workers, Kroger decided to close two of its supermarkets in the area. 

We dive into the issue.

Guests:

Phil Lempert, a supermarket and consumer behavior analyst with the Santa Monica-based publication SupermarketGuru.com; he tweets @PhilLempert

Stuart Waldman, president of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA), a non-profit representing businesses in the San Fernando Valley

Paul Koretz, Los Angeles city councilmember representing District 5, which includes the neighborhoods of Encino, Bel Air, Mar Vista and Palms; he tweets @PaulKoretzCD5