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The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday backed a plan to temporarily boost the pay of grocery and drugstore workers by $5 an hour despite warnings that the wage hike could bring lawsuits and store closings.

The City Council voted unanimously to order city attorneys to draft an ordinance that gives grocery and drugstore workers what politicians called hero pay for the next 120 days. The council also asked city advisors for a report on the economic impact and potential legal challenges.

Tuesday’s action marks the first step in raising grocery store wages and the council must still vote on the ordinance.

Unions representing grocery store workers support the pay boost, arguing that those employees are risking their lives to stock shelves during the pandemic. Business groups argue it will drive up food costs for families and could lead to store closures.

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