Coronavirus

'Hero Pay' Requirement for Grocery Workers Results in Unemployed Heroes

Grocery store company Kroger has announced that it will be closing three stores in Los Angeles as a result of the county's new hazard pay law.

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Mandated "hero pay" will add up to about $0 an hour for some grocery store workers in Los Angeles. Grocers there are closing three stores in response to newly enacted legislation that requires them to pay their workers an additional $5 an hour during the pandemic.

"It's never our desire to close a store, but when you factor in the increased costs of operating during COVID-19, consistent financial losses at these three locations, and an extra pay mandate that will cost nearly $20 million over the next 120 days, it becomes impossible to operate these three stores," said grocery store chain Kroger in a statement given to CBS Los Angeles, announcing that two Ralphs-branded stores and one Food 4 Less location, would be shutting down.

The closures come after the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed its COVID hero pay ordinance in late February. A near-identical $5-per-hour hero pay law was passed by the Los Angeles City Council in early March.

Grocers with over 300 employees nationwide, or which are publicly traded companies, and with at least 10 employees per store, are now required by the county to give their workers additional hazard pay for the next 120 days. The law only applies to stores that are at least 85,000 square feet and for whom food or drug retail makes up about 10 percent of their sales.

These hazard pay laws have swept the West Coast over the past several months, followed closely by the announcement of store closures and lawsuits from grocers.

Long Beach, California, was the first community to pass a $4 hero pay mandate in late January. There too, Kroger announced that it would be closing two other stores that the company says were already underperforming and which couldn't sustain the new pay hikes.

The company also said it would be shutting down three underperforming stores in Seattle, Washington, in response to that city's hazard pay law.

Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco, California, have all also passed their own hazard pay laws requiring employers of typically larger grocery stores to pay either an additional $4 or $5 an hour during the pandemic.

The California Grocers Association (CGA) and the Northwest Grocery Association in Washington have sued individual cities over hazard pay laws in federal court, arguing that they violate the National Labor Relations Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

In late February, a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles denied the CGA's request for a preliminary injunction against Long Beach's hazard pay ordinance.

In addition to their legal arguments, grocers have been making a practical case against hero pay laws, arguing that they foist significant costs onto employers who will make them up through price hikes, layoffs, cuts to employees' hours, and/or store closures.

"The fallout from the misguided extra pay ordinances is enormous and politicians are to blame," said Ruben Guerra of the Latin Business Association in a Wednesday-issued press release. "Workers will lose jobs, and communities of color will be left with fewer grocery options and more food insecurity. Consumers in other areas where grocery stores are able to stay afloat will pay higher grocery bills."

Proponents of these hazard pay laws counter by arguing that grocery store workers have faced increased risks during the pandemic, for which they are owed additional compensation.

"Frontline grocery retail and drug retail workers are among the heroes of the pandemic, putting their lives on the—often for low wages and minimal benefits—to maintain the food supply and distribution system," reads the text of Los Angeles County's hazard pay law. "Despite their importance to our communities, their employers have not all provided sufficient wages…to compensate frontline employees for their critical function to our society and the significant risk they face."

The text of San Francisco's hazard pay law says the workers need the mandated wage premiums to cover child care costs while the city's schools are closed.

Supporters of hazard pay have argued that grocery stores' record profits during the pandemic make wage premiums easily affordable, and that store closures are nothing more than cynical politics.

Profits for some grocery chains increased by as much as 100 percent during the height of the pandemic when restaurants were closed and everyone was stocking up on groceries.

The Washington branch of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW)—which represents grocery store workers and has been a driving force behind hero pay laws—called the store closures in Seattle "a transparent attempt to intimidate other local governments," noting how profits for grocery store companies had "soared."

"They absolutely can afford this increase," Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz said in February about grocery store companies when discussing that city's hazard pay proposal, reports the Los Angeles Times. "They absolutely should be paying this increase. And if they shut down stores, it's just out of spite."

Grocers counter that while their profits did go up, those increases came on top of the very slim one or two percent margins supermarkets typically earn.

A CGA-sponsored analysis of hazard pay mandates found that at $5 an hour, these laws would increase the average grocery store's labor costs by nearly 30 percent, and their overall costs by about 5 percent. That's about twice the profit margins most grocery store chains were making during the height of the pandemic. The same report says that those record profits are already starting to recede.

A report by Los Angeles city staff noted that the likely economic impacts of that city's hazard pay law would be some mix of higher wages for some workers, higher prices for consumers, and the potential for companies to either close stores or delay openings, renovations, and promotions.

The debate about hazard pay laws is a very compressed version of the debate about minimum wage laws. Proponents focus on the fact that a lot of workers will get a pay increase, while detractors note the potential for higher disemployment (meaning job losses but also hours cuts and reduced hiring) and higher prices.

Unlike the minimum wage, however, the costs of hazard pay laws are obvious, immediate, and visible for everyone to see.

NEXT: Biden's 'Rescue Plan' Will Sic the IRS on Anyone Who Earns $600 in the Gig Economy

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  1. “Grocers there are closing three stores in response to newly enacted legislation that requires them to pay their workers an additional $5 an hour during the pandemic.”

    Their zeal will feed them, for a hero honored is sustained amply by the nectar of recognition.

    1. Free from the burdens of employment, they can now pursue other interests.

      1. Like welfare?

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            1. Everything is Trump.

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      2. They can quit working at shoprite?

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      2. Probably not. The stores that are being closed are the ones that are in problem areas, making the least profits. The areas are already underserved by retailers and the municipalities basically had to beg to get a grocery store located in these areas. It is unlikely that another will take their place without significant changes and props from local government. Nobody wins.

        1. Very true, which makes this law even worse.

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    1. How would we ever live with tax policy guidance from left wing groups that lied about Trump’s cuts for his entire administration and bragged about doing so.

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    2. They counted the 1,400 check and things like child tax credit as “tax cuts”. A bunch of people in the lower tax bracket are getting tax refunds.

      Biden is throwing out freebies to people who effectively pay no tax.

    3. They’re not tax cuts so much as welfare in the form of refundable tax credits. A lot of the people getting the welfare are already not paying taxes, so their taxes cannot be cut.

    4. The government takes your money, gives some back to other people and lefty shits like Rick Newman call that a “tax cut”.

  2. “The fallout from the misguided extra pay ordinances is enormous and politicians are to blame. Workers will lose jobs, and communities of color will be left with fewer grocery options and more food insecurity. Consumers in other areas where grocery stores are able to stay afloat will pay higher grocery bills.”

    Ruben Guerra of the Latin Business Association….this guy gets it.

    This is why I am viscerally opposed to blue state bailouts. Giving them money merely emboldens this kind of idiotic behavior.

  3. Communities of color will be hardest hit? I thought they all lived in urban food deserts and had no access to groceries for years now? Did this suddenly change?

    1. Biden and the greenies have cleaned up the air so much that it no longer provides tasty nutrition in those food deserts. In just 50 days! That’s how good the Green Raw Deal is. Power to the Green People!

    2. Communities of color receive less rain during a drought, and are struck by lightning on a sunny day.

      It sucks so bad to be a POC that I’m amazed that they have the will to get out of bed in the afternoon.

      Everything Is So Terrible And Unfair! ™

  4. Shouldn’t the oddly narrow tailoring of these bills make them unconstitutional? Seems like they are specifically targeting large grocery store conglomerates and not requiring other businesses of the exact same type to follow their new rules.

    1. They have no standing to sue. FYTW.

  5. I bet grocery stores would have an easier time maintaining profitability under Koch / Reason economic conditions: unlimited, unrestricted immigration and a $0.00 / hour minimum wage.

    #OpenBordersWillFixEverything

    1. The minimum wage has always been $0/hr.

      To say otherwise is like saying that because the law says pi is equal to 3 then its equal to 3.

      1. Yep.

        The primary function of an increase in a statutory minimum wage is to increase how many people will be paid $0/hour.

  6. “They absolutely should be paying this increase. And if they shut down stores, it’s just out of spite.”

    Yeah, dude. That’s how people sucessfully run businesses. Close down stores that could be making money just to be mean. Profit!

    1. He’s just showed everyone just how economically ignorant he truly is.

    2. I know, some ideologue on the Council can intelligently discuss the ins and outs of the grocery business store by store? What politicians don’t seem to get is that they are the only ones that make decisions out of spite. The rest of us make business decisions to make money.

  7. And where’s my fucking hazard pay? I never stopped going to work.

    Is there even a particular hazard for grocery workers? Seems like maybe there would be, but from what I have seen (including some big surveys from grocery unions with large numbers of responses) they don’t really have much higher rates of infection or illness than the general population.

    1. And where’s my fucking hazard pay? I never stopped going to work.

      How big is your union?

      1. I think I’m up to two now.

    2. “Is there even a particular hazard for grocery workers?”

      A lack of career advancement prospects?

      1. Oh, now. Someday they might be assistant produce manager.

      2. Guy I went to school with started out bagging groceries at the local store. Saved that money and bought his own set of golf clubs as a freshmen. Where is he now? He’s a fricking golf pro!

        Hell, my dad started out stocking the back of a chain grocery store back in the forties. His friend also worked in a grocery store. Ended up owning a local chain.

        The idea that people stay in their entry level jobs forever is a fucking myth.

        1. “The idea that people stay in their entry level jobs forever is a fucking myth.”

          Maybe for your privileged white family, that is the case. Miguel, on the other hand, has to feed his eight children, here and in Ecuador, and does not have the luxury of becoming a professional golfer all the while helping your elderly parents find their fiber enriched bread products as they mumble incoherent instructions through their sopping wet face masks.

          Okay, white boy?

        2. None of that actually happened sarcasmic.

        3. thats true however according to my sources the local grocer union no longer allows people to move up. thats unions for you.

      3. It’s what they chose for themselves not my problem.

      4. What if someone doesn’t want to advance? Can they just love the work they do and still make decent pay?

        1. No. It doesn’t work that way. The work you do is valued by your employer (or customers), it doesn’t matter much the value you think your work provides. If you’re happy doing a particular job that pays $x/hour, and you choose to not seek advancement, then you also have to accept that the job pays $x/hour. No one is obligated to pay you more than $x/hour just because you’re happy and want to bag groceries as your 40-year career.

  8. CUE 10,000 word article in the New York Times about food deserts.

    1. This was my first thought too. How dare those big business fat cats not run unprofitable businesses?

    2. My friend was transferred to a ghetto grocery a few years back. He turned the place around. He made the store profitable. His workers put a hit on him because he made them work and curbed theft. For the princely sum of $1000, they had a local gang lined up to kill him. They bungled it and my friend was spared.
      They never mention “worker quality” as a reason for “food deserts” do they? It is as if Mother Nature is responsible.

      1. Speaking of worker quality, the wife and I were just talking about that. See observed in Colorado when marijuana was legalized that worker quality in other industries suffered, since most marijuana workers cannot have criminal records. Because they can afford to pay higher wages and require clean records, dispensaries skimmed off the cream of the crop of retail service-sector workers. I observed a similar drain in Mississippi, when riverboat casinos first opened. Again, the casinos pay higher wages and generally require clean criminal records. Also, to be a dealer or croupier requires quite a bit more training and intelligence than flipping burgers. I had been assigned to the area for about 18 months, with about 1 year before the casino opened and 6 months after in one area, and the decline in service at restaurants, etc. after the casino opened was both rapid and remarkable.

        1. I think you are right. On the downside, thousands of undesirables with criminal records came out here thinking that they could get into the pot industry. They are not interested in working any other jobs. Every construction company needs people, they aren’t interested.

  9. LOL

  10. California Grocery Stores: Prices have skyrocketed, service is crap. I stopped in a local shop this morning. 7:00am. Line down the aisles already because only one checker. No one else. I’m sure she’s making a decent wage, but damn, they need more employees, or just say fuck it and install some self checkouts.

    Heroic? Fuck that! No offense, but we’ve ALL been heroic over the past year. Literal year. Acting like they’re risking thier lives to save others is bullshit. They risked some health, but we all risk health every single day. Even the karens who haven’t stepped outside in 365 days.

    Those grocery store owners are heroes for keeping these people employed instead of panicking, closing everything down, and shooting themselves in the head. Those Paso Robles restaurant owners are heroes for telling the governments to fuck off and staying open anyway. Heroes are the people who make Zoom work so I don’t have to figure out how to socially distance in a crowded workplace. Heroes are Amazon for speedy next day delivery of nearly anything imaginable. Heroes are all the gig workers that Biden wants to punish for getting food and shit to us.

    The hero is that Samoan dude down the street. The governor declared him NON-essential. So he can’t work. By decree. So instead he looks after the entire neighborhood’s kids. Their watchman and referee. I suspect he keeps an eye out of the cops so he can tell the kids to go run and hide when they come by. God bless him.

    The hero is that southeast Asian dude who kept his barbershop going when it wasn’t legal. Secret knock and everything. The hero is my mom’s stylist who comes to you house to do your hair. She just has to know you first to make sure you’re not a fucking karen.

    People who are NOT heroes: THE exec at my company who berated me for not wearing my mask while inside my cubicle at least fifty feet from anyone else. He didn’t’ have to follow that rule because he has an office with a door. Not a hero: my other neighbor who goes around yelling at people for not wearing a mask and keeping distance, but then has to run off to an in-person meeting of school board members when there’s no fucking school allowed. Teachers and students have to Zoom, you can too. Not a hero: Gavin Newsom who dined indoors in a five star restaurant with a group of top healthcare lobbyists at the same time he had decreed that no one else could eat indoors at restaurants. Fuck them all.

    We are all heroes, except those assholes.

    1. Better take than the standard narrative, for sure. But I feel like we are all chumps for actively or passively going along with the authoritarian awfulness of the past year. Anyone who wondered how Nazi Germany, or communism could happen shouldn’t be wondering anymore.

      1. >>chumps

        yep … whole fucking rug pulled out too.

    2. California Grocery Stores: Prices have skyrocketed, service is crap. I stopped in a local shop this morning. 7:00am

      And yet it was open at 7 am.

      What a difference what you’ve experienced during your life makes to your expectation.

      I remember times when grocery stores weren’t open 24/7.

      1. 7:00 AM isn’t 24×7, it’s early, that’s all.

      2. Umm, a lot of grocery stores open at 6 or 7 AM even thought they are not 24/7. Many close at like 11PM, open at 7AM. Being open at 7AM is not rare, nor any indication of being open 24 hours.

    3. I’m sure she’s making a decent wage, but damn, they need more employees, or just say fuck it and install some self checkouts.

      You’re kinda in favor of these big government initiatives – so which is more important to you? That she makes a ‘decent wage’ or more employees. There’s a reason you don’t see baggers assisting the checkout clerks anymore.

      You wanted a ‘living wage’ – this is what a living wage looks like.

      1. Is it even legal to have self-checkout in california or would that put people out of work and is therefore illegal?

  11. It just occurred to me that mandatory wages (via min wage hikes or hero pay) is just price gouging businesses that aren’t allowed to adjust their prices based on market forces without being accused of price gouging.

    1. It’s a price control, like any other. They’re notorious for having (supposedly) unintended consequences. Though at this point, you have to wonder…

      1. Remember when price and wage controls led to the advent of employer based health insurance as a way to attract labor?

        The U.S. FedGov sure doesn’t remember, or if it does it liked that outcome.

        1. Hartford CT remembers.

  12. Oops. Now we need a law prohibiting grocery stores from closing. Then another one prohibiting them form laying people off. Then another one to….

  13. “Frontline grocery retail and drug retail workers are among the heroes of the pandemic, putting their lives on the—often for low wages and minimal benefits—to maintain the food supply and distribution system,”

    If this is the case then why is their preferred solution to penalize the grocery store owners – who also maintain the food supply and distribution network – by forcing them to pay more instead of

    a) Passing a local ‘stimulus’ that has the government send these people checks paid out of the city/county funds the taxpayers have paid

    b) A GoFundMe

    c) People who utilize their services giving them a tip.

    Because it seems to me that no one really considers these people’s contributions to be all that great nor their risk all that high – hence normal people’s dis-inclination to voluntarily provide extra compensation for extra service.

    And keep in mind that we tip coffee baristas and pizza delivery people.

    1. I don’t tip coffee baristas, mostly because making a cup of coffee is something a trained chimp could do. I do tip pizza delivery people, because they often get robbed at gunpoint while doing their job.

      1. I’d very much like to see you step into a Starbucks with no training and do it.

        1. He did say ‘trained’ chimp…

          1. Nice shootin’ Josey!

  14. “Whine, whine, whine – if they’re *true* heroes they can heroically handle anything we throw at them!”

  15. Predictable consequences are never unintented.

    1. stupid people need the most attention.

    2. Predictable based on what? Perhaps you can point to any other point in history since the creation of the minimum wage, or any increase to it, when this happened.

  16. “Proponents of these hazard pay laws counter by arguing that grocery store workers have faced increased risks during the pandemic, for which they are owed additional compensation.”

    These “proponents” are free to pay them all the extra they want.

  17. It’s those greedy capitalizts’ fault, I’m sure.

  18. “The debate about hazard pay laws is a very compressed version of the debate about minimum wage laws. Proponents focus on the fact that a lot of workers will get a pay increase, while detractors note the potential for higher disemployment (meaning job losses but also hours cuts and reduced hiring) and higher prices.”

    Meanwhile, the very idea that government can dictate wages is not debated at all.

    1. Meanwhile, the very idea that government can dictate wages is not debated at all.

      They’ve got enough guns, so of course they can.

  19. There is no heroism without sacrifice. A salute to these people who lost their jobs to keep us free from the coof. Or something. I’m sure their sacrifice was for something.

    1. If they weren’t essential enough to keep working, then their sacrifice is meaningless. Or something like that.

      Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said Sunday that, while he’s “all for” small businesses, those that can’t afford to pay $15 an hour are undesirable. “We don’t want low-wage businesses. I think most successful small businesses can pay a fair wage,” “I love small businesses, I’m all for it, but I don’t want small businesses that are underpaying employees,” Khanna said. “It’s fair for people to be making what they’re producing. I think $15 is very reasonable in this country.”

  20. Minor detail of the bullshit exposing kind –
    The risks are decreasing daily, and herd immunity has been reached according to none other than J. Biden.

  21. The minimum wage in LA county is already $15/hr for business with more than 25 employees and will be $15/hr for all businesses after July 1 this year. Splash another $5 on top and it isn’t going to be easy to have any business open.

    Their employees will need the hero pay since $5 might buy a gallon of plain milk, not the fancy grass-fed, free range, hormone free, non-GMO, organic stuff mind you but just plain old straight up moo juice. That’s more than double the local Harris Teeter but then it’s already 60% more in LA county so what’s another 50%.

  22. And if they shut down stores, it’s just out of spite.

    I’m guessing this individual hasn’t taken a lot of business courses.

    1. He’s just repeating AOC’s talking points -remember, she was an economics major before she was a bartender – she knows business, despite never having to make a payroll.

    2. Kroger annual net income for 2021 was $2.585B, a 55.82% increase from 2020.

      1. Kroger has posted their 2021 Income? Wow, that was fast!

      2. In onpy three months? Obviously, they are making good decisions.

  23. I love how they claim these people need more money because schools are closed — while actively preventing schools from opening.

    1. If schools aren’t open, why are they paying teachers? Why not take money from the teachers to pay these ‘heros’?

      1. KeninTX my mom is a special education teacher who taught via Zoom until last week when Baltimore City MD teachers returned to the classroom. All their union asked for was that teachers be vaccinated and that schools would supply PPE. Mom was vaccinated and went back to work. Maybe we should take your paycheck?

        1. My wife is a special education teacher. She has been in the classroom since August. Why don’t you tell us what your Mom did for Special Education students via Skype you asshole? Your Mom didn’t do shit but draw an undeserved paycheck so go chase yourself you lying, ghetto, crotch dropping.
          Only a buffoon would try to use Baltimore schools as their argument.

        2. Your anecdote does not make the fact that teachers and teachers unions all across the country are refusing to return to their jobs teaching children in schools–AFTER they’ve been told that they are required to do so by their employers and in violation of their contracts.

  24. People who voted democrat are getting a good lesson, not that they will pay attention.

  25. (From the link above about increased profits)
    Kroger, other retailers see ‘eye-popping profits’ as workers reap little benefit
    Susan Selasky Detroit Free Press

    At Cincinnati-based Kroger Co., which has 119 stores in Michigan, profits for the first two quarters were up a staggering 90%, according to the report from the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank. 
    Despite record-breaking profits at stores, many grocery workers saw hazard pay — typically an extra $2 per hour at the onset — taken away and replaced in some instances with bonuses, sometimes in gift card form. 
    Kroger was listed under the report’s “laggards” category. Under the company name was “from hero pay to zero pay.” At the time of the report, it had been 181 days since Kroger workers received hazard pay. 

    Once Kroger ended its “hero pay” in May, it reported $211 million in stock buybacks in the second quarter and announced a new $1 billion stock buyback program in September, sending stock prices up, according to the report.

    John Cakmakci, of Local 951 based in Grand Rapids, said of all the employees and companies the local has labor contracts with, he is most disappointed in Kroger. Local 951 represents nearly 30,000 workers, mainly at Meijer, but also at Kroger, as well as the JBS meat processing plant in Plainwell. 
    When it came to extra worker appreciation or heroes pay, Cakmakci said, Kroger was the last one to come to the table with an offer of temporary pay increases for its workers.
    Kroger was also the first to stop offering the extra pay, he said.
    “It’s baloney,” Cakmakci said by phone. “It’s absolutely a money grab. Bar none, Kroger is the worst. It’s like getting water from rock. I can’t believe you guys are making the money you’re making and acting like you are losing money.”
    Cakmakci said Kroger gave employees a bonus of a $100 Kroger gift card several weeks ago. They also got 1,000 gas points, which is equal to $1 off a gallon for up to 35 gallons for a one-time use.

    1. Don’t like it? Don’t shop there or work there.

    2. Thanks for posting this. The corporate comment reeked of manipulative victim posturing. $5 / hr will cost the company $20 million over 120 days? Please. They were going to close the stores anyway and decided to take advantage of the opportunity to take a swipe at the extra pay. Writers on this site should be more astute — or more honest. Why does corporate America always get away with the victim posturing?

      1. “Why does corporate America always get away with the victim posturing?”

        Why to fucking lefty ignoramuses like you post this bullshit?

  26. Gov-God Saviors “Hero’s” are gonna starve!

    Unbelievable that after consistent history of this exact scenario showing its ugly-head over and over and over again there are still buffoons out there that still don’t get it.

    1. It’s those who buy the corporate b.s. that “still don’t get it.” No company is forced out of business by an extra $5 per hour for its employees, they’re just whining because they can get away with it and thumb their noses at politicians who don’t always do their bidding.

      1. How to be one of the most stupid mofo’s on the planet.

        YOU will pay me $X/hr whether you like it or not!
        F-OFF Slaver! Peoples have rights.

      2. PLUS; If you really believe that B.S.

        WHAT THE F*CK is stopping you from getting off your LAZY POS *ss and being the owner of a grocery store!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You want to preach how others should be from you LAZY STUPID *SS… GO DO IT YOURSELF!!!!!! GO FREAK-EN MAKE THIS MONEY you and so my lefty sh*t for brains complain about..

        Instead of constantly and compulsively pointing Gov-Guns at people and trying to STEAL it!!!! You’re a lazy POS criminal.

      3. “It’s those who buy the corporate b.s. that “still don’t get it.”…”

        No, it’s lazy ignoramuses like you who “don’t get it” and probably are too stupid to ever “get it”
        Fuck off and die, slaver.

      4. “No company is forced out of business by an extra $5 per hour for its employees”
        That statement is pure ignorance. What is the number one cost to small Farm and other small businesses? Labor. What are the profit margins for small farms and other small businesses? Low.

  27. “They absolutely should be paying this increase. And if they shut down stores, it’s just out of spite.”

    Those greedy capitalists are only interested in filthy lucre, except when they aren’t!

  28. Causing job losses is the whole point, and it appears it will probably work.

  29. No comment on the obvious math (Ignoring payroll taxes etc)?

    $20M/$5hr = 4MMh
    4MMh/120 days/3 stores = 11,111
    11,111/8hrs (Ha!) = 1388 and a guy missing a limb, per store.

    I don’t think so.

  30. Correcting my own math since I can’t seem to edit. 1388 total but still totally out of line.

  31. Any Ralphs location that closes down in So Cal will likely be taken over by H mart, 99 Ranch or other ethnic grocery stores that do not employ union labor. If Long Beach is lucky, maybe another American chain like Smart and Finals will take over. I doubt it.

    1. Place a hero pay surcharge at the bottom of every transaction and see how that goes.

  32. Policy was certainly dumb and more virtue than substance. That said, it’s pretty pathetic we even call these people heroes. It’s our way of not paying people what they’re worth and slapping a useless moniker on them instead.

    1. “It’s our way of not paying people what they’re worth and slapping a useless moniker on them instead.”

      Only econ-ignoramuses claim *they* know the value of a good better than the market, and if this shit isn’t an econ-ignoramus, he’s nothing.

  33. Amazing how a politician who’s never run a business in his life can state that the supermarkets ‘absolutely can afford it, and if they close it’s just out of spite.’
    Democrats just keep trying to repeal that law of supply and demand, but haven’t succeeded yet.

    1. What they’re really after is the GUN power to STEAL form others what they are to lazy to EARN.

  34. What’s missing from this article, is the libertarian position: the government shouldn’t be involved in commerce unless there’s a dispute that needs resolving.

    “Frontline grocery retail and drug retail workers are among the heroes of the pandemic, putting their lives on the—often for low wages and minimal benefits—to maintain the food supply and distribution system”

    Everyone has been putting their lives on the line (although a low probability of death) to work and provide for others, unless they can physically isolate themselves. Grocery workers at least still have an income, when the government has forced many businesses to close, stopping the income for them and their employees. To me the heroes are the ones treating Covid patients, we’re all victims of the virus to some extent, people who work producing goods/services for others are decent civil people, and politicians are making it worse by meddling in commerce.

    Seems the default assumption (maybe even among some of the Reason staff), is the government should be involved. No, it usually shouldn’t, because it’s an evil institution which first requires harming people by taking their money to do anything.

  35. Those weren’t “good jobs” anyway. The government did those wages slaves a favor. /s

    1. Glad you added the /s; there are econ-ignoramuses upthread who make the ‘argument’ absent the /s.

  36. As my daughter askes her children when they do something stupid and the inevitable happens…”What did you THINK was going to happen?”

  37. From the original article:

    “Two Ralphs stores — at 9616 West Pico Blvd. and 3300 West Slauson Ave. – and a Food 4 Less at 5420 W. Sunset Blvd. will be shut down on May 15, according to Kroger. The company said Wednesday the three stores were already under-performing, and the Los Angeles mandate accelerated their closure.”

    Accelerated their closure. As in they were planning on closing these underperforming locations regardless. A shameful omission from the author Christian Britschgi. Give use the news straight, you clown.

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