Speak up for Hero Pay at SB City Council on Tuesday, April 20

Please join SBCAN in advocating for temporary increased "Hero Pay" for grocery and drug retail workers in the City of Santa Barbara.

At the Santa Barbara City Council meeting on Tuesday, Apr. 20, the council will decide whether or not to approve an emergency ordinance to temporarily increase pay for grocery and drug retail workers by $5 per hour for 120 days.

The item is #14 on their agenda and will likely be heard around 4 p.m. You can call into the meeting through their webinar app (information on their website here) or you can submit a written comment to the clerk before noon on April 20 by emailing it to [email protected]

Below are some talking points you could include in your comments. Thank you for supporting essential workers!

  • The ordinance would only affect large chain grocery and drug stores. Small businesses and mom and pop shops would not be affected
  • Due to the stay-at-home order, last year more people were grocery shopping instead of eating out at restaurants. In 2020, Amazon (owner of Whole Foods), Kroger (owner of Ralphs and Food for Less), Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Albertsons all saw the highest profit margins of any year.
  • These companies have not supported their employees with adequate testing or personal protective equipment. Their union, UFCW 770, had to step in to provide PPE to the workers.
  • Grocery and drug retail workers are experiencing very high rates of COVID-19 infection and often do not have adequate sick leave, paid time off, or ability to quarantine.
  • Grocery and drug stores have become more dangerous places to work because customers will use the store as a place to make a point of refusing to wear their mask, or as a place of deadly violence as was seen a few weeks ago in Boulder, CO. These workers have been put in positions of high risk without the training, benefits, or pay that is often associated with dangerous jobs such as nurses and police officers.
  • These risks are ongoing as the vaccine has only recently become accessible to workers and customers in our area, and the pandemic is not over.
Please write or call the Santa Barbara City Council and ask them to approve this Hero Pay ordinance. 
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Santa Barbara County Action Network
Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN) works to promote social and economic justice, to preserve our environmental and agricultural resources, and to create sustainable communities.