Contract talks were set to resume today in hopes of avoiding a walkout by thousands of Southern California grocery workers who have already authorized their union to call a strike if negotiations break down.
A&F Market, an Asian-centered market in West Long Beach, received a new freezer last week, took down beer and cigarette ads and placed fruits at the counter as part of joining the city’s Healthy Market Partnership Program, an initiative aimed to promote healthy food access.
The Ralphs store located at 3380 N. Los Coyotes Diagonal was also expected to close Saturday.
The North Long Beach grocery store is part of a string of closures announced by Kroger Co. this year following several cities’ passage of “hero pay” ordinances.
“Grocery and drug retail employees have continued to report to work and serve our communities, despite the ongoing hazards and dangers of being exposed to COVID-19.”
Many residents, as well as some city leaders, including Mayor Robert Garcia, have shown displeasure over the move.
A request from the Long Beach City Council asked for alternate methods of food access such farm stands and farmers markets.
Dozens of grocery workers were joined by city leaders and union representatives at a North Long Beach Food 4 Less to condemn the recent announcement by The Kroger Co. that it would close two stores in the city.
For more than 12 years, Kellye Hines-Parks has worked at Food 4 Less in North Long Beach. On Monday, she was told her store would be closing in April and that her future at the company is in limbo.
The emergency ordinance would require large chain grocery stores to pay their employees an additional $4 per hour for at least four months.