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COVID: SF Supes To Vote On Hazard Pay For Grocery, Retail Workers

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN/CBS SF) -- San Francisco supervisors on Tuesday could approve an emergency ordinance to raise wages by $5 per hour for some grocery and retail workers as the COVID-19 pandemic endures.

Under the emergency ordinance, authored by Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton, retail and grocery store locations with pharmacies would be temporarily required to pay workers an extra $5 during the pandemic.

The ordinance is likely to pass, as seven other supervisors have signed on to cosponsor it, including supervisors Myrna Melgar, Gordon Mar, Hillary Ronen, Ahsha Safai, Dean Preston, Connie Chan and Matt Haney.

Walton said the ordinance is a follow up to a resolution passed by supervisors in January, urging large chain grocery stores to raise hourly wages for employees during the pandemic as a way to further support workers who have provided food and other essentials.

Other California cities have already enacted a similar $5 wage increase for grocery store workers, including Oakland, Santa Clara, San Leandro, Berkeley and Long Beach.

The Sacramento-based California Grocers Association has said wage hikes for grocery store workers could have harmful impacts, potentially resulting in lost jobs or hours for workers and higher food prices at smaller stores. Last month, the association filed separate lawsuits against the cities of Oakland and San Leandro, alleging the mandated hazard pay raises are unlawful.

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