California continues to document the bottom coronavirus case charges within the nation.
Greater than 50 % of Californians are totally vaccinated. Individuals are going again to work and flying on planes and filling eating places, bars and leisure venues. And on June 15, our state will finish the tier system, resulting in a reopening of our economic system and signaling the worst of the pandemic is behind us.
Even with all this excellent news, sure cities are refusing to finish grocery employee further pay mandates that have been handed earlier this 12 months. Most of those further pay mandates require grocers to offer staff an additional $5 per hour.
A number of financial research, together with these by cities themselves, estimated these further pay mandates have important unintended penalties for shoppers, grocers and even the employees they’re meant to assist.
In line with one report, further pay mandates of $5 per hour would end in a mean household of 4 paying $400 per 12 months extra for groceries.
The rise would hit low- and moderate-income households laborious, notably these fighting job losses and earnings reductions attributable to COVID-19.
To be able to offset these prices, grocers that function on skinny margins have needed to increase costs in shops all through Southern California, hitting shoppers within the pocketbook and depriving them of entry to their native grocer. As unhealthy, the insurance policies are harming staff. 5 grocery shops in Lengthy Seashore and Los Angeles closed due to the additional pay mandates.
Grocery staff have been certainly selfless heroes throughout the pandemic. That’s why, along with the government-required further pay, grocers offered their staff important pay and profit enhancements, further sick and trip days, and different monetary assist throughout the worst of the pandemic. As well as, grocers spent tens of millions extra ensuring clients and staff have been protected from virus threat by putting in partitions, hiring further personnel to do further cleansing and offering PPE for staff.
It’s time to finish the additional pay mandates on June 15 when the state ends the tier system and all of us return to a extra regular life. Grocery shoppers and grocery staff might be higher off.
Nobody can afford greater grocery payments attributable to these ordinances. Particularly not on prime of inflationary pressures that, individually, are driving grocery prices greater and better.
The U.S. Division of Agriculture estimates that grocery costs may improve 3 % in 2021. Many economists say grocery costs may go even greater and keep greater for longer. That’s on prime of a 3.9 % grocery value improve in 2020.
By holding these further pay mandates in place, native elected officers are knowingly elevating grocery costs on their constituents much more, and risking extra retailer closures which harm not solely the employees out of a job, however the residents who lose a handy place to buy.
It’s time to maneuver ahead. It’s time to finish pricey and pointless further pay mandates.
Ron Fong is president and CEO of the California Grocers Affiliation. For greater than 120 years, the California Grocers Affiliation has served because the voice of the state’s grocery group. A nonprofit, statewide commerce affiliation, CGA’s membership is comprised of over 300 retailers working greater than 6,000 brick-and-mortar shops, and roughly 150 grocery provide corporations.