LA’s councilors introduced a legal motion to look into Kroger after this company chose to shut down three shops in mid-May. Kroger’s decision came in reaction to the ‘hero pay’ order from Los Angeles City Council. After LA Council accepted a March mandate to give a $5 raise in hourly grocery employee pay, Kroger announced its decision to close a Food4Less marketplace and two Ralphs shops.
Councilors Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Paul Koretz introduced it to look into the matter to keep Los Angeles and its inhabitants safe. As per the motion, LA is keen on contemplating whether it has to tackle those and future grocery closures, particularly in the so-called ‘Food Deserts’ areas, through legislative action. To do it, Los Angeles City Council has to seek details from the groceries concerned and the executive management of those stores for the following.
- For understanding their actions in a better way; and,
- For informing itself about ways that perhaps protect Los Angeles and the citizens from the negative effects of such closures.
Two of the motion’s recommendations are to look at witnesses to assess those closures, plus request the related store executives’ appearance.
The closing store workers have encouraged Kroger to reconsider its decision after it reportedly earned 56% in pandemic period profits.
Compensating employees for the considerable effort they take, and their higher possibility of the coronavirus infection, is the purpose of the Hero Fund hazard pay, said Brittany Bouknight, who works at Pico Boulevard’s Ralphs store. Bouknight also said that the store staff has also faced physical and verbal abuse when telling food customers to follow social distancing norms or use their masks properly. Unfortunately, the staff experiences the issues when they help their communities to purchase food for the latter’s families’ sustenance.
Kroger announced comparable closures after Long Beach made an ordinance for a hero pay of $4 more an hour to those who do essential work. For your information, those are the people who do an array of services and operations that are usually essential to keep critical infrastructural operations going.
When big corporations’ profits are record figures, and earnings are increased by twofold, they should share the success with laborers, said Mayor of Long Beach Robert Garcia after that announcement from Kroger.
The three LA shops that will close this May are Food4Less on Sunset Boulevard, as well as the Ralphs on Slauson Avenue and Pico Boulevard.