By CBSLA Staff

IRVINE (CBSLA) – Irvine on Tuesday became the latest city in the Southland to approve a pay hike for grocery store workers due to the risks they have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Food 4 Less employee pushes carts past supermarket workers gathered to protest in front of a supermarket in Long Beach, Calif., on Feb. 3, 2021, after a decision by owner Kroger to close two supermarkets rather than pay workers an additional $4 per hour in hazard pay for their continued work during the pandemic. (Getty Images)

The Irvine City Council approved an ordinance which requires large grocery and drug stores to pay employees an additional $4 per hour in hazard pay for at least the next 120 days.

Long Beach last month approved a temporary $4 hazard pay hike for workers at grocery and drug stores, as did the city of Montebello. The pay hikes apply to grocery and pharmacy store chains with at least 300 employees nationwide.

The Los Angeles City Council last week voted to move forward with the preparation of an ordinance that would give its own grocery workers a $5 per hour pay hike.

The issue has been met with resistance from the grocery industry. Following the passage of the Long Beach law, retail giant Kroger responded by announcing that it would shuttering two of its Long Beach stores, a Ralphs and a Food 4 Less, this April.

The California Grocer’s Association, a trade group which represents hundreds of grocery stores statewide, has sued every city which has approved hero pay for grocery workers.

RELATED: Grocery Store Workers In Long Beach Blast Kroger’s Decision To Close 2 Stores As ‘Retaliation,’ ‘Corporate Greed’