California’s ‘Fast Food Bill’: Gov. Gavin Newsom signs landmark law for fast food workers

SACRAMENTO, California– California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday signed into law a nationwide measure giving more power and protection to more than half a million fast-food workers, despite objections from restaurant owners who warned it would drive up costs for consumers would.

The landmark law creates a 10-member Fast Food Council with an equal number of employee and employer representatives and two state officials with the power to set minimum standards for wages, hours and working conditions in California.

Newsom said he was proud to enact the measure on Labor Day.

“California is committed to bringing the state’s prosperity to the men and women who have helped build our world-class economy,” he said in a statement. “Today’s action gives hard-working 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 limits minimum wage increases for fast-food workers in chains with more than 100 restaurants to $22 an hour next year, compared with the statewide minimum of $15.50 an hour, with the cost of living rising thereafter.

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

Sen. Brian Dahle, the Republican nominee for governor in November, had called it “a springboard for unionizing all these workers.”

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

Restaurant owners and franchisors cited an analysis they commissioned from the UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecast and Development that the legislation would increase consumer costs.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. California’s ‘Fast Food Bill’: Gov. Gavin Newsom signs landmark law for fast food workers

Laura Coffey

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