Last Tuesday, UFCW 324 worked with Whittier City Councilmember Henry Bouchot to put Hero Pay on the agenda for Grocery and Drug retail workers in the City of Whittier.

Our proposal would have required Whittier workers to receive $4/hour for 4 months in recognition of the hard work and sacrifice our members have made during this pandemic.

Unfortunately, this proposal failed to pass. Despite Bouchot’s efforts, none of the other four councilmembers would support moving this forward. They made ridiculous comments about companies like Amazon and Kroger not having enough money to pay workers. Mayor Joe Vinatieri actually stopped our members from giving testimony on working conditions because he was afraid the meeting would run too long, and he wanted to get home early. Grocery and drug store workers are heroes, and they deserve to have the opportunity to tell their stories.

On Election Day in November 2022, we must be politically engaged to make sure Whittier voters reject worthless politicians like Joe Vinatieri, Cathy Warner, Fernando Dutra, and Jessica Martinez.

Three UFCW 324 members spoke at the Council meeting, and another four were prepared to speak before the Mayor cut off the discussion. Their testimony was exceptionally moving, and we appreciate that they took time out of their busy day to educate the public about what workers have faced this year.

Despite this disappointing vote, we are committed to continue to work to make sure that Whittier workers get what they deserve.