Long Beach, CA
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File #: 20-1263    Version: 1 Name: Grocery Workers
Type: Agenda Item Status: Approved
File created: 12/11/2020 In control: City Council
On agenda: 12/15/2020 Final action: 12/15/2020
Title: Recommendation to request City Attorney to draft an urgency ordinance for consideration at the next City Council meeting to restore “Hero Pay” hazard pay to front-line grocery workers at a rate of $4 per hour, to sunset 120 days after the approval of the ordinance.
Sponsors: COUNCILWOMAN MARY ZENDEJAS, FIRST DISTRICT, COUNCILMEMBER ROBERTO URANGA, SEVENTH DISTRICT, COUNCILMEMBER REX RICHARDSON, NINTH DISTRICT
Attachments: 1. 121520-NB-35sr.pdf, 2. 121520-NB-35 Corresp. CGA.pdf
TITLE
Recommendation to request City Attorney to draft an urgency ordinance for consideration at the next City Council meeting to restore “Hero Pay” hazard pay to front-line grocery workers at a rate of $4 per hour, to sunset 120 days after the approval of the ordinance.

DISCUSSION
[Since March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically impacted the lives of people across this country. As of December 11th, 2020 there have been 20,636 deaths due to COVID- 19 across the country, including 290 in Long Beach. Locally, we have seen a significant spike in our local case rate. Since November, Long Beach’s average daily cases have increased by over 300%, and our daily positivity and case rate exceeds that of the County of Los Angeles. This led to, on December 6, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issuing a statewide stay-at-home order severely limiting capacity and in some cases the closure of, a number of businesses including gyms, salons, barbershops, recreational facilities, restaurants, and bars.

The global health pandemic has emphasized the importance of many workers in industries now highlighted as essential, including front-line grocery workers. Millions of frontline grocery workers nationwide have had to face new hazards in jobs not previously considered especially dangerous due to the virus. A recent article by the Long Beach Press Telegram quoted a representative of grocery workers as stating that local grocery chains have had nearly 900 members who have tested positive for COVID-19. This, while grocery stores across the country have seen recorded profits which, according to the Brookings Institute, found top retail companies had a 39% increase in profit averaging an extra $16.9 billion in 2020.

Due to these shifting emergency circumstances, at the beginning of the pandemic, a number of grocery companies initially provided extra COVID-19 related compensation to their workers. This bonus, commonly known as “Hero Pay”, often was implemented as a temporary ho...

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