In National First, Coachella Gives Farm Workers “Hero Pay”

Coachella is now among the cities mandating additional “hero pay” for some essential workers.

The City Council passed a resolution unanimously on Feb 10. It requires an additional $4 per hour for grocery store, pharmacy, restaurant, and agriculture employees of businesses with over 300 employees for the next 4 months.

While numerous cities have passed mandatory increases for essential workers, Coachella is the first to include farm workers in its ordinance.

Several agriculture companies appeared at the meeting Wednesday to speak out against the plan. One CEO said it would raise their costs by $100,000, putting competitors in neighboring cities at an unfair advantage.

As City News noted last week, the California Grocers Association is suing Long Beach, Oakland, and Montebello over their hazard pay requirements. Los Angeles recently approved a hero pay measure. Cathedral City and Irvine are also exploring hero pay ordinances.