The Long Beach City Council has voted unanimously to require large grocery companies that do business in the city to pay their L.B. employees an extra $4 an hour to compensate them for the dangers they face in serving the public during the coronavirus pandemic.

Companies with at least 300 employees nationwide would be required to pay the extra $4 per hour for at least 120 days, after which the ordinance would come back to the City Council for a possible extension.

The council’s vote in Tuesday night’s meeting directs City Attorney Charles Parkin to draft an ordinance mandating the extra pay, which the council will vote on at its next meeting.

“When large corporations don’t step up to provide hazard pay for grocery workers, we will step in and protect these heroes,” Mayor Robert Garcia tweeted Tuesday night. “Thank you to the Long Beach City Council for adopting the emergency $4 hazard pay for grocery workers. I’m going to sign the law as soon as it hits my desk.”

Some grocery store chains offered temporary hazard pay to their workers in the early stages of the pandemic, but they have since reverted back to normal pay levels.

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