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  • County Passes Damaging and Rushed “Hero Pay” Emergency Ordinance

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    Van Nuys, Calif. – The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has adopted an emergency ordinance for “Hero Pay,” which would require grocery stores in unincorporated areas of the County of Los Angeles to pay their workers an additional five dollars per hour in wages, calling it “Hero Pay.”

    VICA President Stuart Waldman said:
    “During the COVID-19 crisis, businesses have been working tirelessly to keep their employees and customers safe, complying with constantly changing and costly regulations. ‘Hero Pay’ will add additional significant costs, irreparably damaging our local economy.
    “VICA thanks Supervisor Barger for her steadfast support of the business community with her ‘no’ vote. She was a voice of reason, explaining to her colleagues that we don’t know how this policy will affect workers consumers, and small grocers. We agree that until these questions are answered, the risks of ‘Hero Pay’ outweigh the benefits.
    “Grocery store workers have truly been on the front lines of the crisis, ensuring we have access to safe and reliable food supplies throughout the pandemic. And as an acknowledgement of that, grocers have undertaken massive efforts and spent millions of dollars to institute policies that keep both workers and customers safe.
    “Grocers have also provided workers with bonuses, time off, extra pay and other benefits in addition to their negotiated pay. Additional government regulations on already struggling businesses could thwart this generosity in the future or even close grocery stores for good.
    “A five dollars per hour increase amounts to about 30 percent of wages. That cost will have to be passed to consumers in the form of higher grocery costs. We all know many consumers cannot afford higher costs right now. Too many in our region and state are struggling to get by as it is.
    “It is wrong for the county to expect these suffocating provisions from businesses when they are not themselves providing ‘Hero Pay’ to the countless county employees that are keeping our region running.
    “VICA thanks our frontline workers, but these exclusive and rushed provisions are simply bad policies that will have lasting negative effects on our region.
    The mission of the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA) is to enhance the economic vitality of the greater San Fernando Valley region by advocating for a better business climate and quality of life. Visit www.vica.com for more information.
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