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Fast food workers to stage protest against opposition to new labor law – Press Telegram

Los Angeles and Orange county fast food workers will join others on Tuesday, November 15 in a statewide protest aimed at stopping McDonald’s, Starbucks and other restaurant chains from trying to block a new law that will raise wages and give workers a stronger voice on the job.

Assembly Bill 257, also known as the FAST Recovery Act, is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2023. It will create a state-run 10-person council to negotiate wages, hours and working conditions of more than half a million people. -California food workers.

The measure was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 5. But Stop AB 257, a coalition of franchisees and franchisors who oppose the measure, was quick to attack the legislation.

They say it would fuel higher consumer prices, and the group noted that California already has some of the strongest worker protection laws in the country.

Opponents of the bill – operating as Save Local Restaurants – are pushing for a referendum on the November 2024 ballot that would repeal the legislation. If they collect the necessary 623,000 voter signatures by December 4, the law would be suspended until the 2024 ballot and possibly overturned.

The coalition effort is jointly co-chaired by the National Restaurant Association, the United States Chamber of Commerce and the International Franchise Association.

Fast food workers plan to rally outside a Starbucks in Los Angeles on Tuesday, while others will congregate at Chipotle headquarters in Newport Beach before caravanning between other fast food headquarters in Orange County , including Del Taco and El Pollo Loco.

A report from the UC Berkeley Labor Center shows that people working in fast food are more likely to live in or near poverty. According to the study, one in five families with a member working in fast food has an income below the poverty line.

Nearly 80% of fast food workers in the state are people of color, and more than 60% are Latino/Latina, and two-thirds are women.

Angelica Hernandez, who has worked for McDonald’s for 18 years, earns $17.75 an hour at a McDonald’s in Monterey Park.

“It’s not enough,” the 49-year-old Los Angeles resident said. “We have to do the work of two or three people, but we don’t get the salaries of two or three people.”

Hernandez, who just learned his rent will go up another $100 a month, dispelled the notion that AB 257 is the only factor likely to drive up consumer prices at fast-food outlets.

“McDonald’s has already raised its prices,” she said. “Prices go up with or without AB 257.”

Save Local Restaurants claims to represent small businesses in California. But Fight for $15 and a Union, a campaign that aims to raise wages and improve working conditions for fast food workers, said the opposition is actually funded by donations from big fast food companies.

SEIU California filed complaints last month with Attorney General Rob Bonta and Secretary of State Shirley Weber demanding they investigate and potentially overturn the referendum, claiming it is trying to mislead voters about the purpose of the referendum. .

Another Harvard and UC San Francisco study found California fast-food workers are paid $3 less an hour than comparable service-sector workers, while facing higher levels schedule instability.

AB 257 aims to empower workers to develop solutions to long-standing problems in the fast food industry by giving fast food workers and franchisees a seat at the table, establishing a minimum wage for the fast food restaurants and convening local fast food councils to give workers and employers a voice in all parts of the state.