Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas Is Leading Fight for Albertson’s Employees, Other Grocery Workers

Tanu Henry and Edward Henderson | California Black Media 

      Sen. Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Ladera Heights), a member of the California Legislative Black Caucus, says she wants to protect workers who lose their jobs when there are mergers between grocery store chains. 

      In February, Smallwood-Cuevas introduced Senate Bill 725. 

      The bill would mandate that grocery store chains provide severance pay to workers laid off due to a merger or acquisition. The severance would be equal to “one week of pay for each full year of employment” if the employee is not retained for at least 90 days after a “change in control.” 

      Last week, workers unions held a rally in support of SB 725 in Sacramento. 

      “I stood with grocery store workers who traveled to the State Capitol today to rally in support of a bill package that addresses the harmful effects of grocery mergers,” wrote the only Black woman Senator in the California Legislature on her Facebook page. 

      “This rally comes on the heels of a proposed deal between Albertson’s and Kroger – the nation’s two largest grocery store chains with an outsized presence in California – to ink a $24.6 billion merger.”

      In April, the Senate Committee on Labor, Public Employment and Retirement voted 5-0 to advance the bill. It is now pending a third reading on the Senate Floor. 

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