Kroger, California, Long Beach discussed on All Things Considered


On the right shoulder people slowing down from about Euclid Avenue and in Paramount 7 10 south down before the one of five. A crash in the left lane is slow from Florence Avenue. It's all things considered from NPR news. I'm Audie Cornish, and I'm Mary Louise Kelly, the national supermarket company. Kruger is planning to close two stores in the California city of Long Beach. Kroger blames the decision on local lawmakers who recently passed a temporary wage hike for grocery workers. Union leaders call it retaliation from member station KPCC in Los Angeles, David Wagner reports. Last month, the city Council of Long Beach passed an ordinance requiring hazard pay for grocery workers during the cove in 19 pandemic. Large grocery chains now have to pay their workers in Long Beach an additional $4 per hour for 120 days. Mayor Robert Garcia said Grocery workers deserve compensation for taking on huge risks during California's Covitz surge, Unfortunately, a lot of these workers or harassed and they have to deal with folks who don't want to comply with the rules, and they're trying to protect themselves and their family, and they don't have the choice to not work or to work from home. Other areas, including the city and county of L, A, are now considering similar policies to boost pay for grocery workers. California's grocery industry has protested, arguing extra pay won't keep workers safe, but will lead to layoffs and higher food prices. Kroger operates more than 300 grocery stores in California. This week, the company announced plans to close to supermarkets in Long Beach. A spokesman said The stores were already under performing and boosting hourly pay by $4 forced the company to shut them down Mrs hostile retaliation against workers who have been on the frontlines since the beginning of the pandemic. Andrea Zander is the president of the local grocery workers Union. Grocery sales have soared during the pandemic as consumers shift from dining out to eating at home. Programs, profits increased by 90% last year, according to a recent report from the Brookings Institution, Zander says workers think Kroger can afford a temporary pay bump. I think they want workers to feel like Oh, no, If we speak up for what is right, and the company may terminate our employment, nearly 200 employees and Long Beach could lose their jobs when the stores close Meanwhile, the California Grocers Association is challenging the city's mandate in court. The industry group warns that if the policy spreads to other cities, more stores are likely to close for NPR news. I'm David Wagner in Los Angeles. In the online Q and on universe former President Trump is seen as the savior of humanity, someone who is destined to rescue not just the country but the entire world from darkness. According to our next guest, Travis View, he monitors the spread of online conspiracies, but with Trump out of office. What happens to this movement? View says It's not going anywhere without L. Ron Hubbard, the Scientology fizzle. I mean, once a movement like this grows to a certain size, and what's the believers in it become dedicated enough, It becomes self sustaining. It doesn't need its founder leader anymore. You is also the co host of the podcast that follows the conspiracy movement. It's called Q and on anonymous. Yes, he says. The theories are elaborate, self contradictory and illogical. And for some adherents, that's part of the draw. This is I think a big part of like, what gets people locked in is that might seem Impenetrable to you. That's when you're inside. That feels like you're privy to some sort of secret Inside information that on Lee, you and your other fellow Cuban on followers are sharp enough to understand what makes you think. In this case, it is self sustaining. I mean, you because of your, um some of your branding. I understand. People actually gravitate towards the podcast before they realize that you're actually not supportive of the movement and you get a lot of like, you know, interactions and mail. So what are you hearing that for? You says, Oh, this ain't over. Well, one thing that makes me convinced that this is not something that's just going to go away is you know the fact that even though sort of Q itself, the entity has not posted whatsoever since December, 8th. And despite that, you know they're the community itself is still very active because they sort of the belief systems and the sort of conspiracy theories That's horse. Sustained. The movement don't come from Trump or Q or any specific leader. It's sort of crowd source and self generated. I mean, it really is about the community and the sort of the feeling that they have some sort of inside information about what's going to happen. So there's really no head of the snake. There's not one sort of thing you can sort of take out. Make the entire movement sort of fizzle, right? I think I every once in a while you will kind of post screen caps right of conversations people are having, and I noticed, Of course, they're very undeterred. My real world events. Like all of a sudden the comments. People will sort of work it out amongst themselves and say, Oh, well, hey, maybe it's this. Hey, Maybe it's that it's like Communal experience. Well, yeah, it Zraly kind of like in improvisational reality building. You know, they don't look too out the outside world to try and figure out you know what is true and what is not, and then, as a consequence, sometimes have to face harsh truth, such as the electoral victory of Joe Biden. Come to the conclusion. First, they decide what makes them feel best. And then they construct conspiracy theories that helped them convince themselves why that's true. How much sympathy do you have for people? Who have gotten involved in this and the reason why I ask is because it's it's probably not going to be unusual to hear people here in there say, Oh, I was sucked in and maybe not take personal responsibility for their actions during that time. Actually have. I mean, a great deal of sympathy for people who fall into this, and the reason is is because Cuban on satisfies needs that we all have. We all need to have a feeling of significance. We all need to have Ah, feeling of community and we all need to have some sense of optimism for the future. And if you're not getting that, in any other way than Cuban on, can sort of fulfill that role for you Now, I think in the end, it's very, very toxic. But I I realized why people who are very vulnerable fall into this in the end. What do you want people to understand about this movement that they don't and that the media Mrs right, because it's just so sensational. Um, in talking about it. Mm hmm. It's a deep Simon. Yes, a say, um One thing that I do want to say that people often get wrong about Cuban on is this idea that everyone who believes in it is stupid or uneducated or even like, you know, uh, poor or something like that. And obviously the these beliefs are delusional. But over and over again, we've seen people who are actually got pretty well educated or fairly successful, get drawn into it. For example, one of the people who ran.

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