KROGER CLOSING STORES AFTER CITY ORDERED PAY HIKES
2 California supermarkets closing after city orders pay hike
CITY MANDATES CAUSES KROGER TO CLOSE STORES IN RESPONSE.
Kroger Co. will close two Southern California supermarkets in response to a local ordinance requiring extra pay for certain grocery employees working during the pandemic.
The decision announced by the company Monday follows a unanimous vote last month by the Long Beach City Council mandating a 120-day increase of $4 an hour for employees of supermarkets with at least 300 employees nationwide and more than 15 in Long Beach.
Kroger said it will close a Ralphs market and a Food 4 Less on April 17, the Press-Telegram reported.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
The statement added: “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.”
A city statement characterized Kroger’s decision as “unfortunate for workers, shoppers and the company.”
A similar hazard pay wage increase has been approved by the city of Montebello and is being considered in Los Angeles and Pomona.