The city of Palm Springs will be deciding on whether or not to establish Hero Pay which will boost pay for workers working in large chain stores for a limited period. NBC Palm Springs spoke to the mayor on what the cities plans are moving forward and if it is legal to enact this type of pay.
“We’re having an initial discussion about hero pay ordinance that would provide $4 dollars an hour extra to grocery and pharmacy workers for big national chains,” said Christy Holstege, Mayor of Palm Springs
The Palm Springs Chamber of Commerce hearing public comments on a proposed hero [ay bonus for grocery and pharmacy workers.
Leaders with The United Food and Commercial Workers Union explaining why they are in support of hero pay.
“We have been very careful when we have had conversations with the city whether it be in Palm Springs, Coachella, or any other city that’s looking at these ordinances to be very very careful how we craft it to where it does not hurt mom and pops, it does not hurt people that are locally in the community,” said Joe Duffle, President of United Food and Commercial Workers Union.
Some officials from big chain companies saying that vaccinations should be a priority rather than higher pay.
“Our family of companies has invested 1.5 billion dollars to both rewards to our associates and to implement dozens of safety measures. the main point is extra pay will not make our associates any safer, but the vaccine will,” said John Votava, Director of Corporate Affairs with Ralphs.
Leaders with the California Grocers Association also asking the city to hold off for now.
“Is for you to delay this ordinance for 90 days and instead of battling each other on the pros and cons of this ordinance, I would love for the city of palm springs, our council members, our chambers, and our grocers, and our unions. All three and four of our groups to work together to get grocery workers vaccinated,” said Ron Fong, Ceo with the California Grocers Association.
and as for the legality of hero pay, and whether cities can enforce it.
“Cities have the general ability to regulate wages. Our city attorney’s advice has been yes, this is legal for us to do in our power as a city,” explained Holstege.
Thursday’s meeting is just an initial discussion about hero pay, Mayor Holstege tells NBC Palm Springs that an ordinance for farm workers and restaurant workers may also be considered in the near future.