Quantcast

Grocery Industry Suing Seattle Over Mandated Hazard-Pay Increase

'The council’s unprecedented ordinance...has left us with no other option than to file a lawsuit against the city...'

(Associated Press) Two grocery industry trade groups have filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle over its new law mandating $4 an hour pay raises for grocery stores.

The suit was filed by the Northwest Grocery Association and the Washington Food Industry Association Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle, the Seattle Times reported.

It alleges the city’s law interferes with the collective-bargaining process between grocery stores and unions and also “picks winners and losers” by singling out large grocery companies.

Seattle’s law passed last week and went into effect Wednesday.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

“Unfortunately, the council’s unprecedented ordinance, its unilateral action, and unwillingness to work with the grocery industry has left us with no other option than to file a lawsuit against the city,” Tammie Hetrick, president and CEO of WFIA, said in a statement.

The law applies to grocers with over 500 employees worldwide and stores larger than 10,000 square feet in Seattle.

It mandates a $4 an hour pay boost for all workers in retail locations, a bump that stays in effect as long as Seattle remains in a declared civil emergency.

The lawsuit claims the new law is “invalid and unconstitutional” for two reasons.

...article continued below
- Advertisement -

First, it says, it is preempted by federal law governing collective bargaining and labor practices.

Second, the lawsuit says, the law violates the equal protection clauses of the U.S. and Washington constitutions by treating large grocers differently “without providing any reasonable justification for the exclusion of other employers or frontline retail workers.”

A spokesperson for Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, Dan Nolte, said “We will absolutely defend the City’s right to see essential grocery workers receive the hazard pay they so rightly deserve.”

Several California cities including Berkeley have passed similar legislation in recent weeks.

The lawsuit directs blame at the United Food and Commercial Workers union, which pushed for the law.

“The Ordinance establishes premium pay standards that, by design or consequence, empower the UFCW or other collective bargaining units to secure a wage rate they could not otherwise have obtained from the employer at a unionized or non-union grocery store,” the suit says.

Anna Minard, a spokesperson for UFCW Local 21, told the newspaper they were confident the mandate is legal.

“We see this kind of employer pushback every time we pass workers-rights laws, but it’s especially unfortunate in the middle of a pandemic that these grocery employers are going to such great lengths to avoid paying workers,” Minard said.

In response to Seattle’s legislation, Trader Joe’s raised pay, temporarily, for all its employees nationwide, while also canceling a much-smaller scheduled midyear raise.

Kroger closed two California stores in response to similar legislation there.

- Advertisement -

TRENDING NOW

Tennesee Transgender Bathroom Law Allows Students to Sue Liberal Schools

(Headline USA) Tennessee lawmakers have passed a bill that would allow students who are forced to share a bathroom or locker room with a...

Police Officer Placed on Leave After NC Fatal Shooting

(Associated Press) A North Carolina deputy shot and killed a black man while executing a search warrant Wednesday, authorities said, spurring an outcry from...

Social Justice Warriors Sue DeSantis Over Anti-Rioting Law

(Associated Press) A social justice group has filed a lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and others two days after the Republican signed a...

Simon & Schuster Rejects Employees’ Demands to Spike Mike Pence’s Book

Publishing company Simon & Schuster rejected demands to spike former vice president Mike Pence’s upcoming book after leftist employees began circulating a petition against...

AOC Reintroduces Green New Deal to Combat ‘Racial, Economic, Climate Injustice’

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio--Cortez, D-NY, reintroduced the Green New Deal this week as a bill to fundamentally transform the U.S. economy and promote “racial, economic,...

Black Activists Call for ‘Insane’ Boycott of Home Depot over Ga. Election Law

Georgia leaders representing more than 1,000 churches in the state encouraged leftists to boycott Home Depot, arguing the company didn’t denounce Georgia’s new election-integrity...

Mark McCloskey Considering Senate Run

Mark McCloskey, the St. Louis lawyer who rose to national prominence last summer after confronting Black Lives Matter rioters outside his home, said he...

BLM Rioters: ‘We Are Never Going To Be Satisfied’

Black Lives Matter rioters in Minneapolis and several other major cities continued to make their presence felt throughout American cities yesterday, even after the...

Minutes After Chauvin Verdict, Woke Mob Finds New Martyr in Knife-Wielding Ohio Teen

The fatal shooting of a knife-wielding black teenage girl by police in Columbus, Ohio, came within minutes of the verdict in George Floyd’s killing---resulting...
- Advertisement -