McDonald’s, In-N-Out, and Chipotle are spending millions to prevent pay raises for their employees

New York

California voters next year will decide a Referendum It could overturn a landmark new state law that sets worker conditions and minimum wages as high as $22 an hour for fast food employees in the nation’s largest state.

Chipotle, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, In-N-Out Burger, and owner of KFC Yum! trademarks of each I donated A million dollars to save local restaurants, prof coalition opposition to the law. Major fast food companies, business groups, franchisees, and many small restaurants have also criticized the legislation, spending millions of dollars opposing it.

The procedure, known as the FAST Act signed last year by California Governor Gavin Newsom and was scheduled to go into effect January 1. On Tuesday, California’s Secretary of State announced that a petition to stop implementing the law had gathered enough signatures for a vote on the state’s 2024 general suffrage.

Supporters and detractors of the measure have argued that the closely watched initiative could transform the fast food industry in California and serve as a forerunner for similar policies in other parts of the country.

The law is the first of its kind in the United States, and authorized the formation of a 10-member fast food board made up of workers, employers, and government representatives to oversee standards for workers in the state’s fast food industry.

The board had the authority to set sector-wide minimum standards for wages, health and safety protections, leave policies, and avenues for worker retaliation at fast-food restaurants in more than 100 locations nationwide.

The council could raise the minimum wage in the fast food industry to $22 an hour, compared to the $15.50 minimum for the rest of the state. From there, that minimum will rise annually based on inflation.

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The California fast food industry employs more than 550,000 workers. Nearly 80% of people of color and about 65% of women, according to the Service Employees International Union, which supported the law and Fight for $15 a move.

Defenders of the law, including unions and labor groups, see this as a breakthrough model for improving wages and conditions for fast food workers and overcoming unionization obstacles for workers in the industry. They argue that success in California could lead other labor-friendly cities and states to adopt similar boards that regulate fast food and other service industries. Less than 4% of restaurant workers nationwide are unionized.

Employment law in the United States centers around unions organizing and negotiating in a single store or factory. This makes it almost impossible to organize workers in fast food and retail chains with thousands of stores.

The California law would bring the state closer to sectoral bargaining, a form of collective bargaining where workers and employers negotiate wages and standards across an entire industry.

Opponents of the law say it is a drastic measure that will have harmful effects. They argue that it unfairly targets the fast food industry and will increase prices and force companies to lay off workers, citing Analysis by economists at UC Riverside Which found that if restaurant workers’ compensation increased by 20%, restaurant prices would rise by about 7%. The study also found that if restaurant workers’ compensation increased by 60%, prices for limited-service restaurants would increase by up to 22%.

“This law imposes a food tax on consumers, kills jobs, and drives restaurants out of local communities,” said the Save Local Restaurants coalition.

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On Wednesday, US President McDonald’s Joe Erlinger Criticize The law as one was propelled by feuding unions that would lead to “an unelected council of political insiders, not local business owners and their teams,” to make key business decisions.

Opponents have turned to a similar strategy used by Uber, Lyft and gig companies that sought the coup California law of 2020 That would have required them to reclassify drivers as employees, not “independent contractors,” which would provide them with benefits such as minimum wage, overtime, and paid sick leave.

In 2020, Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Others Spent Over $200 Million Successfully Persuading California Voters Passing the motion 22It is a ballot measure that exempted companies from reclassifying their workers as employees.

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