SOURCE: California Grocers Association

October 25, 2007 20:32 ET

California Grocers Applaud Tentative Ruling on L.A. Grocery Worker Retention Ordinance

A Victory for Fairness in Food Retailing and Inner City Consumers

SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - October 25, 2007) - The California Grocers Association today applauded the tentative ruling issued by the Honorable Ralph W. Dau, Judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, finding the City of Los Angeles' Grocery Worker Retention Ordinance to be void.

This ordinance represents the first attempt in the nation to require a certain class of supermarket retailers to retain workers when a store changes ownership. This decision will become the final decision of the trial court unless any party raises controverted issues or proposes modifications by November 5, 2007.

Judge Dau tentatively found the ordinance void on two constitutional bases:

--  The ordinance conflicts with statewide food safety and food handler
    laws and is therefore preempted by the California Retail Food Code, and
--  The ordinance's discrimination between grocery stores based on size
    and on whether they have a collective bargaining agreement with a union are
    impermissible distinctions and thus violate the equal protection guarantees
    of the state and federal Constitutions.
    

All comments may be attributed to Peter Larkin, President of California Grocers Association:

"We are pleased with Judge Dau's tentative ruling. Since the Grocery Worker Retention Ordinance has been in effect, sales of grocery stores from one operator to another in the City of Los Angeles have ceased. Stopping the growth of new retail in the city demonstrates the first of many harmful impacts this law will have on city residents. We have believed all along that the ordinance is unlawful and unenforceable because it is preempted by federal labor relations laws, violates the equal protection rights of employers, conflicts with state food-related health and safety laws, and improperly dictates rules of employment. We look forward to a final ruling from the Court."

The California Grocers Association has been the voice of the California food industry since 1898. CGA is a non-profit, statewide trade association representing over 500 retail members operating more than 6,000 food stores in California and Nevada, and approximately 200 grocery supplier companies. Retail membership includes chain and independent supermarkets, convenience stores and mass merchandisers. For more information about CGA visit http://www.cagrocers.com.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Dave Heylen
    V.P. Communications
    Tel: 916.448.3545
    FAX 916.448.2793
    Website: www.cagrocers.com
    E-mail: Email Contact

    California Grocers Association
    1415 L Street, Suite 450
    Sacramento, CA 95814