The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is at it again — finding winners and losers in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Absolutely everyone is acquainted with the punitive steps the county took towards the restaurant sector a couple months ago, banning outside eating in spite of any scientific proof that undertaking so would minimize the distribute of COVID-19.
And now, apparently, we see that at least two customers of the Board of Supervisors like grocery and drug retail outlet employees considerably far more than they like cooks and servers.
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors is slated to contemplate a motion put forth by Supervisors Hilda Solis and Holly Mitchell to give grocery and drug store staff a $5 an hour raise.
Solis and Mitchell, embracing the position of L.A. County as the nanny county within just the nanny condition that is California, are pushing an urgency ordinance that would give those staff an supplemental $5 per hour in “hero pay.” The ordinance would apply to retail store chains that are publicly traded or use at least 300 workers nationwide and a lot more than 10 for each keep.
It would continue being in impact for at the very least 120 days, and would only utilize to unincorporated county territory — so, employees at a retail store in Stevenson Ranch or Castaic would get the increase, and those people in the metropolis of Santa Clarita would not.
“Grocery and drug retail personnel are amid the heroes of this pandemic, putting their life on the line — typically for reduced wages and small added benefits — in buy to sustain our meals method and manage balanced communities,” reads the motion. “Despite their importance to our communities, their businesses have not provided adequate relatives-sustaining wages and ‘Hero Pay’ all through the latest surge of COVID-19 scenarios.”
We agree with Solis and Mitchell on just one matter: The employees in query are heroes. They’ve continued to do their careers faithfully through some terrifying and tough conditions.
But this proposed ordinance is improper-headed on various fronts, like the truth that it plays “favorites” among the the a lot of classes of employees who have braved their jobs by the pandemic, it ignores the inevitable unintended penalties, and it’s just plain a governmental about-reach.
In enacting this ordinance, the county would be staking a declare to a suitable to notify some corporations they have to pay out their personnel much more, even though others do not. It’s not a wonderful leap to see this as a slippery slope.
Ought to successful grocery retail store chains spend their staff additional for displaying up in the pandemic? Arguably, guaranteed. But it’s not the government’s position to determine which enterprises “should” pay their staff members extra — and then drive them to do it.
Presumably, all those staff who are members of robust labor unions that have impact above the Democrat politicians who run factors in L.A. County would be much more probably to be amongst the “favorites.”
But what about the quite a few other heroes of the pandemic? Are grocery and drug retailer staff at any much more risk than the fuel station attendant, the quick foods employee, the custodial employee who cleans rooms at the healthcare facility or even the journalist who covers breaking information, including factors like riots and protests that dominated the information past summer?
There are numerous heroes in the county. Why solitary out just one category?
Then there are the unintended effects: Faced with a $5 for every hour maximize in labor fees, it is unavoidable that some suppliers will shut, minimize hours or cut careers — leaving some of all those very workers with an all-new economic mountain to climb.
Or, they’ll elevate prices to include the included value — and then small-cash flow people that can scarcely pay for groceries now will come to feel an even greater pinch.
More, this is a local community-dividing evaluate, sending the information that the county authorities favors some staff above others.
Do grocery and drug retailer workers are worthy of “hero pay”? Certainly, they do. So do lots of others. But it is not the government’s appropriate part to dictate these kinds of issues to private, law-abiding corporations.
We have explained this right before: Each employee who places food items on their family’s table is an essential employee. And all over this pandemic, there have been functions of heroism, big and tiny, way too many to amount. But this ordinance would be but another overstep by a county that enjoys to overstep.
Here’s a suggestion: Rather of taking part in puppet grasp with the economy, why not aim all this strength on strengthening the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, so everybody can get that shot in the arm they want, and get back to get the job done devoid of fear?