California fast-food workers could see wages hit $22 an hour next year
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.
“California is committed to ensuring that the men and women who have helped build our world-class economy can 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 set 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.
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.”
Higher prices for consumers?
Restaurant owners and franchisors cited an analysis they commissioned from the Center for Economic Forecasting and Development at UC Riverside, saying the legislation would increase costs for consumers.
But supporters of the legislation have hailed it as a big win for workers, with MP Luz Rivas calling it a “defining moment” for labour.
Members of Fight for $15, an advocacy group that helped lead the fight for a higher minimum wage, also applauded the passage of the bill, known as AB 257.
“We went on strike, marched in the streets and rallied across the state to make sure our demand for a voice at work was heard even as powerful corporations pulled out all the stops for us. shut up,” said Anneisha Williams, a representative from Los Angeles. Angeles fast food worker and leader of the $15 fight. “We look forward to having our say in creating safe and healthy workplaces in the fast food industry and to making the AB 257 a model for workers across the country who desperately need from a seat to the table.”
The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour and has not increased since 2009. Research has shown that if the minimum wage had kept pace with productivity gains in the economy over the past 50 years, it would be almostor more than $50,000 per year in annual income.