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LA City Councilors Propose An Extra $5 Per Hour Hazard Pay For Grocery Workers

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Following in the footsteps of their Long Beach neighbors, Los Angeles City Councilors proposed a motion Wednesday which would provide grocery store workers with an extra $5 per hour in hazard pay due to the job risks of the pandemic.

Large grocers, defined as those with at least 300 employees nationwide, would be required to provide their employees with an extra $5 per hour, according to the motion proposed by L.A. City Council President Nury Martinez and Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell.

The hazard pay would remain in place for as long as L.A. County is in either the purple or red tiers of California's coronavirus recovery roadmap.

The motion came just one day after the Long Beach City Council voted unanimously to move forward with a $4 per hour hazard pay increase for at least the next 120 days for grocery store workers there.

If approved, the motion would call on the L.A. City Attorney to draft an emergency ordinance which the council would then vote on a second time.

"Despite the highest surge of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began, our grocery store workers continue to show up every day, serving customers and providing the essentials that residents across the city need to stay safer at home," said Councilmember O'Farrell in a statement. "This is by definition hazardous work and the money they earn should be commensurate with the risks associated on the job."

L.A. County reported 22,422 new coronavirus cases and 138 deaths Wednesday, both records. It also reported that 4,656 patients were hospitalized with the coronavirus, also a record.

L.A. County total coronavirus caseload is 566,005, and the death toll is 8,568.

Back in March and April as the pandemic was unfolding, several major grocery stores and retailers – including the likes of Kroger, Walmart, Target and Albertsons – provided their employees with one-time bonuses or temporary wage increases of $2 per hour.

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