Newsom signs major law for fast food workforce

Newsom signs major law for fast food workforce

Newslooks – SACRAMENTO, CA (AP)

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Monday signed a nationwide landmark measure giving more than half a million fast food workers more power and protections, despite objections from restaurateurs who warned that this would increase costs for consumers.

The landmark law creates a 10-member fast food council with an equal number of worker delegates and employer representatives, plus two state officials, empowered to set minimum standards for wages, hours and wages. working conditions in California.

Newsom said he was proud to sign the measure into law on Labor Day.

Fast food workers and their supporters march past the State Capitol calling for passage of a bill to empower fast food workers, in Sacramento, Calif., on Tuesday, August 16 2022. If approved by lawmakers and signed by the governor, AB257 would give California’s more than half a million fast-food workers increased power and protections under the nation’s first measure. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

“California is committed to ensuring that the men and women who have helped build our world-class economy are able to share in the state’s prosperity,” he said in a statement. “Today’s action gives fast food workers a stronger voice and a seat at the table to establish fair wages and essential health and safety standards across the industry.”

The law caps minimum wage increases for fast-food workers at chains of more than 100 restaurants at $22 an hour next year, up from the minimum of $15.50 an hour across the board. the state, with the cost of living rising thereafter.

Pedestrians walk under an In-N-Out Burger restaurant sign in San Francisco, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. More than half a million California fast-food workers are pinning their hopes on a groundbreaking proposal that would empower them and increased protections. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The state legislature approved the measure on Aug. 29. The debate split along party lines, with Republicans opposing it.

Senator Brian Dahle, the Republican gubernatorial candidate in November, called it “a springboard to organize all these workers.”

Supporters had said they hoped the measure would inspire similar efforts elsewhere.

Cars wait in line at a McDonald’s restaurant in San Francisco, Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022. More than half a million California fast food workers are pinning their hopes on a groundbreaking proposal that would empower them and increased protections. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The author of the measure, Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, said it would be “a new way to ensure marginalized workers have a voice in the workplace.”

Restaurant owners and franchisors opposed the law, citing an analysis they commissioned from the UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecast and Development, saying the legislation would increase costs for consumers.

The International Franchise Association called it “a fork in the eyes” of people who operate restaurant franchises and said it could raise consumer prices by up to 20%.

FILE – Fast food workers walk through a McDonald’s restaurant demanding a $15 hourly minimum wage in East Los Angeles, Friday, March 12, 2021. California lawmakers adjourned this year’s legislative session on Wednesday, August 31 2022, leaving Gov. Gavin Newsom with 30 days to sign or reject hundreds of bills, including a bill to give half a million fast-food workers more power, protections and wages. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

“This bill was built on a lie, and now small business owners, their employees, and their customers will have to pay the price,” IFA President and CEO Matthew Haller said in a statement. a statement. “Franchises already pay higher salaries and offer more opportunities for advancement than their independent counterparts, and this bill unfairly targets one of the greatest models for realizing the American dream and the millions of people it supports. .”

However, Holden urged opponents to give the law a chance.

“Speaking as a former franchise owner, I would have welcomed this inclusive process, which actually benefits not only the worker but also the franchisee,” he said in a statement.

For more business news

Michael A. Bynum