California Gov Signs Landmark Law For Fast Food Workers
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday (Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022, in Manila) signed a nation-leading measure giving more than 500,000 fast food workers more power and protection, despite the objections of restaurant owners who warned it would drive up consumers’ costs, Don Thompson reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: Newsom said he was proud to sign the landmark measure into law on Labor Day.
The landmark law creates a 10-member Fast Food Council with equal numbers of workers’ delegates and employers’ representatives, along with two state officials, empowered to set minimum standards for wages, hours, and 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 are able to share in the state’s prosperity,” he said in a statement.
“Today’s action gives hardworking fast food workers a stronger voice and seat at the table to set fair wages and critical health and safety standards across the industry.”
The law caps minimum wage increases for fast food workers at chains with more than 100 restaurants at $22 an hour next year, compared to the statewide minimum of $15.50 an hour, with the cost of living increases thereafter.
The state legislature approved the measure on Aug. 29. Debate split along party lines, with Republicans opposed. Sen. Brian Dahle, the Republican nominee for governor in November, had called it “a steppingstone to unionize all these workers.”
Supporters had said they hoped the measure would inspire similar efforts elsewhere. The measure’s author, Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, said it would “a new way to ensure marginalized workers have a voice in the workplace.”