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City Of Coachella Approves $4 Hero Pay For Farm Workers

COACHELLA (CBSLA) – The Riverside County city of Coachella became the first in the nation this week to give its farm workers a temporary "hero pay" hike for the risks associated with the nature of their work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coachella City Council Wednesday approved a $4 per hour pay increase for workers in agriculture, along with those who work at grocery stores, restaurants and drug store chains.

farm worker ventura
A farmworker wears a face mask while harvesting curly mustard in a field on February 10, 2021 in Ventura County, California. - The United Farm Workers (UFW) union is urging state and local governments to greater prioritize Covid-19 vaccines for farmworkers and perform outreach activities to help workers who often lack technology access to sign up for vaccinations. Essential workers in agriculture and meatpacking are often subjected to conditions where social distancing is not possible, combined with additional risk factors increasing the community spread of the virus including low wages, multigenerational households, a lack of coronavirus testing, and fear of losing their jobs if they believe they are sick. As of February 10, California has 3,362,981 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 44,995 deaths according to a state database, which lists Latinos as 55 percent of all cases and 46 percent of all deaths - while only 39 percent of the population. (Photo by Patrick T. FALLON / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Those who work in those sectors face "magnified risks of catching or spreading the COVID-19 disease because the nature of their work involves close contact with the public," the ordinance read.

The pay increase will last for at least 120 days.

Several cities across the Southland have adopted $4 per hour hazard pay laws for grocery and drug store workers in recent weeks.

They include the cities of Long Beach, Montebello and Irvine. The Los Angeles City Council last week voted to move forward with a plan that will eventually see its grocery store workers get a $5 per hour pay hike.

The pay hike sparked controversy in Long Beach when retail giant Kroger announced it would be closing two stores in response, a Food 4 Less and a Ralphs.

RELATED: Grocery Store Workers In Long Beach Blast Kroger's Decision To Close 2 Stores As 'Retaliation,' 'Corporate Greed'

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