Blogging Bayport Alameda

March 1, 2021

We can be heroes just for one day

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:29 am

It’s on the agenda for tomorrow night but who knows if the City Council will get to it given that there is a budget item, the tank, and a bunch of other Council Referrals which have not been heard for several meetings nows, but Vice Mayor Malia Vella and Councilmember John Knox White put forward a referral to require large grocery chains to provide hazard pay to its workers.

You know, the folks we were all calling heroes months ago and/or yelling at them when they tried to tell us to put our masks on. Those people.

From the referral:

Consider Adoption of Urgency Ordinance or Introduction of Ordinance Amending the Alameda Municipal Code by Adding Section 4-61 (Grocery Worker Hazard Pay) to Require Large Grocery Stores in Alameda to Pay Employees an Additional Five Dollars ($5.00) per Hour in Hazard Pay during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic and to Include Enforcement of Emergency Hazard Pay to Grocery Employees

Lots of other cities have already adopted these ordinances as listed in the referral itself, but there have been immediate and swift lawsuits from large grocery chains. A judge recently declined to grant a preliminary injunction against Long Beach’s ordinance which is good news for these workers. From the Long Beach Post:

U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II concluded that in its argument for a preliminary injunction—a temporary stop to the law—the [California Grocers Association] CGA failed to establish a likelihood of success on its claims.

“A preliminary injunction is ‘an extraordinary remedy that may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief,’” Wright wrote, explaining the CGA’s arguments didn’t meet that high burden of proof.

Hopefully the City Council can swiftly discharge with all the other fluffy and useless referrals to actually take on something that is important in the lives of folks who have been out there, every day in the pandemic risking their lives.

10 Comments »

  1. You know who’s really gonna hate this? That Trumpy guy who owns the Groce Out!

    Comment by Rod — March 1, 2021 @ 6:38 am

  2. Urgency Ordinance … do they require 4/5 vote for passage? (I think they do) If so, probably a hard one for this Council.

    Comment by Ron Mooney — March 1, 2021 @ 7:59 am

  3. While I’m not unsympathetic to the idea, don’t they have unions to do this for them? And does any city have the legal power to dictate private sector activity to this degree?

    Comment by Just askin' — March 1, 2021 @ 8:21 am

    • The Grocers Assn will sue the city for interference with contract. Kroger’s closed two stores in Southern Ca after a city did the same thing citing the small profit margins and underperforming stores.

      But go ahead and do it. Inflation is already here (bond interest rates, gas, energy) Next step hyperinflation.

      Or how about ending the lockdown/open schools and really help people?

      Comment by Really — March 1, 2021 @ 10:13 am

      • You do know that the City has no control over opening schools and re-opening tiers. That’s the School District and the County, respectively.

        Comment by Lauren Do — March 1, 2021 @ 12:03 pm

        • I know the City of SF sued their own school district and “magically” the SF USD announced they’d be opening soon.

          This would be a much better use of council time.

          Comment by Really — March 1, 2021 @ 12:19 pm

        • Okay, so when is SFUSD bringing kids back to the classrooms? AUSD is starting on March 15.

          Comment by Lauren Do — March 1, 2021 @ 1:22 pm

      • There are more SF kids in private than public schools. 15,000-yes 15,000 K-12 private school kids in SF have in person instruction. Alameda is opening up a few elementary schools in March but nothing else.

        Comment by Really — March 1, 2021 @ 6:49 pm

        • Great job moving those goal posts. Did the City of SF sue the private schools to open?

          Comment by Lauren Do — March 3, 2021 @ 8:44 am

  4. “Groce Out”. Good one. I somehow doubt the Alameda store is a union shop. Can anyone here confirm or deny?

    Lawyers will ultimately decide, but I don’t see why the city could not enforce hazard pay. Someone has to do something to help people. Might as well be us, no? I don’t care to wait for the federal or state to come to our rescue.

    Comment by bjsvec — March 1, 2021 @ 9:27 am


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