Kroger Closing Stores Instead Of Giving Workers “Hazard Pay”
Kroger has announced it will be closing two stores instead of paying their employees "hazard pay".
The two stores are owned by the Kroger parent company, and carry the Ralph's and Food 4 Less names in California. These stores are located in the Long Beach area, and are subject to a new law passed by the Long Beach City Council that requires an additional $4 per hour for front-line workers, including grocery store employees.
The release from Kroger announcing the closures says:
“As a result of the City of Long Beach’s decision to pass an ordinance mandating extra pay for grocery workers, we have made the difficult decision to permanently close long-struggling store locations in Long Beach. This misguided action by the Long Beach City Council oversteps the traditional bargaining process and applies to some, but not all, grocery workers in the city.”
The Mayor of Long Beach, Robert Garcia, Tweeted out his support for the "hazard pay" increase, and mentioned that he and the city are prepared to go to court over it.
The changes in Long Beach require an extra $4 an hour for employees of grocery stores with a minimum of 300 nationwide employees, and more than 15 local employees. Local grocery stores and smaller chains were not impacted by the change. The time frame for the pay increase was limited to 120 days.
These store closures from the Kroger company are said to be permanent. Meaning the company was prepared to completely close two stores instead of increasing pay for a temporary 120 days.