ABC7 reports that Long Beach, California city council unanimously approved a $4 an hour wage increase for hazard pay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Leave it to California politicians to make the absolute worst move for low wage earners during a pandemic-caused recession.
The article’s tone is very upbeat about the wage increase and reads: “Workers at large grocery stores in Long Beach can now get an extra $4 an hour in hazard pay due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
The approval for the pay increase happened on the same day as Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration, January 20.
The Mayor of Long Beach, Robert Garcia, tweeted, “Taking a moment in-between watching inaugural events to sign a $4 an hour pay increase for grocery and supermarket workers. You have earned this hero pay. Thank you for your hard work.”
We should indeed be thankful for the grocery store workers handling the stress and pressure of keeping scared Americans stocked during a pandemic where supply chains were tested and many times broke.
That being said, any high school economics student could tell you that forcing a company to raise their cost with no way for them to recoup the loss is a bad idea.
Forced wage increases simply cause all other prices to go up on the consumer so the company can remain profitable, and therefore the grocery store employees keep their much-appreciated jobs.
Democrats don’t care about the cost of their “heroic” ideas because their P.R. firms know how to spin any negative press.
It shouldn’t come as a shock to you that less than a month later, one of the largest grocers in the nation, Kroger, says that they are now forced to close two of its stores due to the $4 per hour wage raise.
KTLA reported that a company spokesperson said, “As a result of the City of Long Beach’s decision to pass an ordinance mandating Extra Pay for grocery workers, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close long-struggling store locations in Long Beach.”
The release continued, “This misguided action by the Long Beach City Council oversteps the traditional bargaining process and applies to some, but not all, grocery workers in the city.”
The report states that at the beginning of the pandemic, Kroger proactively gave its employees “a $2 pay boost” and said that “it had already spent about $1.3 billion to reward associates and implement dozens of coronavirus – related safety measures since March when the virus’ spread began accelerating in the U.S.”
The company remarked that the rewards and pay increased is “on top of other additional benefits offered to employees during the pandemic, including paid emergency leave.”
What would a California wage increase fight be without a weigh-in by the corrupt unions.
Andrea Zinder, president of UFCW Local 324, released a statement saying, “After everything they’ve been through and all the sacrifices and the service our members have provided Long Beach during the pandemic, Kroger responds with this chilling message to workers.”
Zinder continued, “Kroger closing these stories is a clear attempt to intimidate and discourage workers from standing up and using their voice to create better working conditions and wages.”
Ron Fong, the president of The California Grocers Association released a statement in support of Kroger’s position, saying, “This is truly unfortunate for the Long Beach community, its grocery workers and consumers, but not surprising given the magnitude of the Council’s actions.”
Fong continued saying, “We repeatedly warned that a $4/hour increase would have major unintended consequences – including potential store closures, the reduction of work for employees, and higher grocery costs for customers.”
Leftist Democrat Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia tweeted his reaction to the Kroger stores closure, saying, “the Kroger corporation is closing two markets in Long Beach because our city is requiring temporary hero’s pay for grocery workers during this pandemic Grocers are making record profits. We go to court this month, and we will defend the workers vigorously.”
ARTICLE SOURCE: thefederalistpapers.org