BY EMILY MIBACH
Day by day newspaper editor
Final night time (March 8), the San Carlos and Redwood metropolis councils every requested their respective metropolis managers to write down ordinances to extend the wages of grocery and drugstore employees throughout the pandemic.
Southern San Francisco and San Mateo metropolis councils just lately handed will increase of $ 5 per hour. Daly Metropolis Council authorized a danger premium of $ 7 per hour.
Redwood Metropolis Council members spoke of a $ 5 per hour enhance whereas no quantity was mentioned in San Carlos.
The transfer to San Carlos and Redwood Metropolis comes a month after Kroger Co. introduced it could shut two of its shops in Lengthy Seaside after that metropolis imposed a $ 4 per hour enhance on employees.
Neither San Carlos nor Redwood Metropolis formally authorized a increase final night time. As a substitute, a council member from every metropolis requested to place a dialogue of the thought on the agenda, after which the council would determine whether or not or to not have metropolis staff write an ordinance for it to be. council votes later.
In Redwood Metropolis, the proposal got here from Council member Lissette Espinoza-Garnica and in San Carlos, Mayor Laura Parmer-Lohan, who’s working for county supervisor in 2020.
Parmer-Lohan stated on the board assembly that she wished to lift the difficulty after studying that the Covid an infection price amongst grocery retailer employees was 1 in 5.
Espinoza-Garnica, who was elected in November, stated working class residents have been at a disproportionate danger of contracting Covid than everybody else. She additionally stated it was extra probably that working-class residents must pay extra out of pocket to go to the physician in the event that they get Covid from work.
Brookings Institute research signifies that whereas Costco continues to pay its staff’ danger premium and Goal has raised wages, firms resembling CVS, Albertson (which owns Safeway and Fortunate) and Walgreens have stopped paying the danger premium. danger or give premiums associated to Covid.
The boards have agreed to look into the matter, however that’s no assure that the danger premium will go.
In Redwood Metropolis, Councilor Jeff Gee stated he wished to ensure there have been no unintended penalties because of the danger premium and instructed that town solely think about making use of the premium. of danger solely on shops owned by listed firms.
He additionally made it clear that he wished metropolis staff or council members to talk with a few of the metropolis’s grocers and pharmacists to grasp how the danger premium would have an effect on their enterprise.
Ultimately, Redwood Metropolis Council unanimously authorized that Metropolis Supervisor Melissa Stevenson Diaz return with an ordinance to a gathering subsequent month.
In San Carlos, most council members stated they wished extra data on the businesses that may be included within the ordinance.
Councilor John Dugan, who was elected in November, confused that employees on the grocery retailer are actually allowed to be vaccinated in opposition to Covid.
Dugan questioned aloud why the board hadn’t thought of the danger premium a yr or 9 months in the past.
Dugan additionally requested if there was a manner for town to assist grocery retailer employees get vaccinated.
“I believe it may very well be extra environment friendly and extra helpful,” stated Dugan.
Covid’s compensation proposals elsewhere have resulted in lawsuits in opposition to the cities of Oakland, Montebello and Lengthy Seaside by the California Grocers Affiliation, which claims the orders violate federal collective bargaining legal guidelines.
On February 25, a federal decide dismissed the California Grocers Affiliation’s preliminary injunction movement in opposition to Lengthy Seaside, which might have suspended the beginning of the order.
In response to the Lengthy Seaside Press-Telegram, U.S. District Choose Otis D. Wright II dominated that the Grocers Affiliation had did not make its case in opposition to the danger premium.
Belmont thought of a danger premium final month, however backed away from the thought, citing the continued litigation.