AB 701 will do more harm than good – press enterprise
Fostering a diverse economy that provides all Californians with an opportunity to prosper should be the goal of policymakers in Sacramento. Yet every year there are always a few well-meaning bills that use a chainsaw, rather than a scalpel, to deal with a narrow set of political issues.
Assembly Bill 701 is one of those oversized bills that will end up doing more harm than good. The purported aim of AB 701 is to protect workers from productivity quotas in certain warehouses which would be unreasonable, but in doing so it adds substantial new liability to all warehouse employers, creates duplicative rules which will complicate the process of getting products to businesses. and consumers, and raise the prices of everything we buy and use.
California is home to thousands of warehouses essential to sustaining our complex supply chain. We depend on them to stock store shelves with everyday food and household items and deliver packages to our doorstep.
But not all warehouses are the same. Some pack and store fresh, healthy food for farmers before they hit neighborhood grocery stores and restaurants. Others respond to the vital need for the distribution of medical supplies to hospitals and pharmacies. And some warehouses supply auto parts or store and distribute packages for small businesses. But AB 701 brings together the entire warehousing industry – increasing the potential for frivolous lawsuits and over-regulation, which will hurt small businesses and farmers who are less able to cope with rising costs. costs.
Ultimately, the ripple effects of AB 701 will kill quality jobs in California. Areas such as the Inland Empire and San Joaquin County have become one of the highest concentrations of transportation and warehousing jobs in all of the United States. In total, warehouse and logistics jobs have become an important part of the California economy, employing hundreds of thousands of workers.
AB 701 puts these jobs at risk.
We are already seeing an increasing number of companies moving out of California for greener pastures, but now AB 701 will exacerbate that problem and eliminate high paying blue collar jobs. Warehouse jobs are especially beneficial for those looking to establish a work history, as they often do not require a resume or previous work experience. And, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average worker in the warehousing and warehousing industry earned more than double the wage as workers in the restaurant industry.
Worse yet, all Californian families will feel the negative effects of AB 701.
Warehouses that can afford to stay in California will have no choice but to pass the higher costs on to consumers, potentially slowing the movement of the products we rely on every day. Whether it is processing and warehousing or distributing and delivering items to our stores and out doors, the entire supply chain will be impacted.
AB 701 could lead to longer shipping delays and empty shelves during a time when we still struggle to recover from the havoc the COVID-19 pandemic has created on our supply chain.
And, when things like toilet paper, diapers, clothing, and food are delayed or out of stock, the prices go up for all of us. Working families are already facing rising inflation and higher prices. We cannot afford anything that will make the cost of living more expensive.
AB 701 is too wide and will do more harm than good. I urge the people of California to call their lawmakers today and tell them to vote ‘no’ to protect small businesses, jobs and consumers.
Paul Granillo is the President and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership.