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CA Lawmakers Move Forward Fast Food Council

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Sacramento, CA — Voting on party lines, California lawmakers in the Senate and Assembly voted to develop a 10-member California Fast Food Council.

If AB 257 is signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, it would create a council made up of four employee representatives from the fast food industry, four employer representatives, and two state officials. It would review and make changes related to things like wages and working conditions within the industry. A late amendment approved will cap any increase in minimum wage next year for larger chain fast food restaurants at $22 an hour (statewide minimum wage is $15.50 an hour).

Republican lawmakers in both chambers were against the bill, arguing that it will increase the price consumers pay for fast food. GOP Gubernatorial candidate, Brian Dahle, stated that it is a step toward unionization for the industry. He argued, “There are no slaves that work for California businesses, period. You can quit any day you want and you can go get a job someplace else if you don’t like your employer.”

Many business and industry groups also sent letters to lawmakers in opposition.

Meanwhile, in support, the president of the Service Employees International Union called it a historic “watershed moment,” indicating that it will give industry workers bargaining power for the first time.