‘Hero Pay' For Grocery Workers Is Terrible For Grocery Workers
Reason magazine|June 2021
“Hero Pay” Laws, which require big wage increases for grocery store workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, are sweeping the West Coast. Store closures, unemployment, and lawsuits have followed in their wake.
By Christian Britschgi

The first of these laws, passed in late January by the Long Beach, California, City Council, mandated that grocery workers at large stores get a $4-an-hour pay raise for the duration of the pandemic. By early February, Kroger announced it was shutting down two stores in Long Beach.

The locations had already been underperforming, the company said, but the new pay hike meant they were now unsustainable. It was the same story in Seattle and Los Angeles: In response to “hero pay” laws, Kroger said it would close three stores in each city.

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