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<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />February 1, 2021 <br /> <br />Dear Local Elected Leaders: <br /> <br />Our coalition of local grocers, community advocates, and business lead ers strongly urge our <br />local elected leaders to undertake a complete economic impact assessment to fully <br />understand the consequences of any proposed mandatory grocery worker wage-increase <br />ordinances before moving forward. <br /> <br />Local grocery stores are committed to paying competitive wages and benefits to their <br />employees. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, grocers have invested significantly in <br />infrastructure and enhanced safety protocols to protect frontline essential workers and <br />shoppers, as well as to provide incentive pay, bonuses and additional health benefits for <br />grocery workers. <br /> <br />The proposed emergency pay mandates ignore this commitment and ongoing efforts, and would <br />have significant, negative impacts at the worst possible time. <br /> <br />The proposed increases in grocery worker pay would substantially increase the cost of <br />food and groceries for residents and families by an estimated $400 per year <br />for a family of four. Higher grocery costs would hurt Californians at a time they are already <br />struggling to put food on the table and would be especially harmful to low-income, people of <br />color and disadvantaged communities. <br /> <br />According to a recent Public Policy Institute of California survey, 40% of Los Angeles County <br />residents earning less than $40,000 per year have had trouble paying some kind of bill as a <br />result of COVID-19. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of these Los Angeles County low-income <br />residents report cutting back on food. Increasing the cost of groceries and other essentials <br />would only compound these already-concerning statistics. <br /> <br />Extra pay mandates could also harm the very workers they are intended to help. Higher costs <br />could force grocers to reduce the number of workers, available hours, and even store locations. <br /> <br /> <br />