Fast food workers in California will have the power to raise the minimum wage next year under a new law signed by the governor.
A 10-member council of fast food workers, franchisees, franchisors, advocates for fast food employees, and representatives from the governor's office are created by an act of the legislature. Minimum standards for wages, working hours, and other working conditions will be established by the council. Food chains with more than 100 locations are subject to the law.
One of the sectors of the economy where we are falling short is fast food workers.
"I'm proud of the men and women of organized labor, particularly on Labor Day, for their extraordinary work over the course of decades to empower workers to give them voice and choice and to fight not just for wages but better working conditions."
McDonald's and the National Restaurant Association have opposed the bill. They think it will hurt small business owners.
Sean Kennedy, executive vice president for public affairs at the National Rifle Association, said in a statement Monday that the higher wage mandates could raise costs for California quick service restaurants by $3 billion.
"At a time when California restaurants are struggling with skyrocketing inflation in food prices and operating costs, this bill will push many owners closer than ever to closing their doors," Kennedy said.
In California, about 550,000 fast-food workers are affected by the act. The minimum wage in the state is currently fifteen dollars an hour for employers with more than twenty employees.
Mary Kay Henry, the president of the Service Employees International Union, said she expects fast-food workers to fight for fair wages in other states if they are given the chance.
She said that the union is in talks with some legislators.
Because we're in the discussions stage, we aren't in a position to announce where. "As soon as the authors make commitments, we will be working with the fast food movements and legislators in those states to go public."