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California voters to decide if fast food worker law takes effect


California voters to decide if fast food worker law takes effect



AT 4:00. LISA: A NEW LANDMARK LAW FOR FAST FOOD WORKERS THAT WAS EXPECTED TO TAKE EFFECT HERE IN CALIFORNIA IN 2023 IS ON HOLD, AT LEAST FOR NOW. TY: FAST FOOD GIANTS AND FRANCHISEES ARE RAISING MILLIONS TO KEEP THE LAW FROM GOING INTO EFFECT. KCRA 3 CAPITOL CORRESPONDENT ASHLEY ZAVALA EXPLAINS WHAT’S GOING ON. ASHLEY: SEVERAL NEW LAWS THAT WERE SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR EARLIER THIS YEAR ARE TAKING EFFECT WITH THE NEW YEAR, BUT ONE, KNOWN AS THE FAST RECOVERY ACT, MAY BE BLOCKED BY MAJOR PLAYERS IN THE FAST FOOD INDUSTRY. THE FAST RECOVERY ACT WOULD CREATE A STATE COUNCIL TO BARGAIN PAY AND WORKING CONDITIONS FOR THE MORE THAN HALF A MILLION COUNTER SERVICE WORKERS IN CALIFORNIA. THAT INCLUDES THOSE WHO WORK FOR MAJOR CHAINS INCLUDING MCDONALD’S, SUBWAY, AND DUNKIN DONUTS, JUST TO NAME A FEW. SUPPORTERS OF THE MEASURE SAY FRANCHISEES NEED TO BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR POOR WORKING CONDITIONS, AND WORKERS NEED BETTER PAY. OPPONENTS SAY THE STATE ALREADY HAS LABOR LAWS IN PLACE THAT SHOULD BE BETTER ENFORCED. THEY WARN THIS LAW COULD RAISE RESTAURANT PRICES. OPPONENTS OF THE MEASURE LAUNCHED THE REFERENDUM PROCESS AGAINST THE BILL, WHICH REQUIRES 623,000 VALID SIGNATURES TO KEEP THE LAW FROM GOING INTO EFFECT THIS YEAR. THE CAMPAIGN SAYS IT COLLECTED MORE THAN ONE MILLION. >> DATA IN THE STATE SHOWS THE RESTAURANT INDUSTRY IS ONE OF THE TOP FOLLOWERS OF CALIFORNIA WAGE LAW, SO THERE’S NOT A PROBLEM THEY’RE TRYING TO SOLVE. THE ONLY PROBLEM THEY’RE TRYING TO SOLVE HERE IS GIVING MORE POLITICAL POWER TO OUTSIDE SPECIAL INTERESTS LIKE LABOR UNIONS, WHO FOR DECADES HAVE BEEN TRYING TO REPRESENT OUR WORKERS IN THE INDUSTRY ON THIS FALSE PROMISE OF HIGHER WAGES AND BETTER BENEFITS. ASHLEY: THIS IS ALREADY SHAPING UP TO BE AN EXPENSIVE POLITICAL FIGHT. THE FUNDRAISING COMMITTEE FIGHTING THE FAST RECOVERY ACT HAS RAISED MORE THAN $20 MILLION SINCE SEPTEMBER, FUELING THE FINANCES INCLUDE IN ‘N OUT AND CHIPOTLE AT $2.75 MILLION EACH, STARBUCKS IS CHIPPING IN $2 MILLION SO FAR, AND YUM BRANDS THE OWNERSHIP OF KFC, TACO BELL, PIZZA HUT, WITH $1.5 MILLION, AND CHICK-FIL-A WITH $1.5 MILLION. THOSE ARE JUST THE TOP CONTRIBUTORS. WE REACHED OUT TO THE MAJOR LABOR UNION BACKING THE BILL, THE SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, AND THE ASSEMBLYMAN WHO AUTHORED THE BILL, CHRIS HOLDEN, TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS STORY, BUT NEITHER WERE AVAILABLE. THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE CONFIRMS ELECTIONS OFFICIALS ARE IN THE PROCESS OF VERIFYING THE REFERENDUM PETITION SIGNATURES, AND THAT HAS A JANUARY 25 DEADLINE

California voters will have the final say in a contentious debate between fast food workers and their franchisees over a new law that would allow the state to bargain wages and working conditions for counter-service workers across the state. Previous coverage in the video player aboveSecretary of State Shirley Weber announced Tuesday a referendum against the measure has qualified for the November 2024 ballot. The measure, known as Assembly Bill 257 and the FAST Recovery Act, would have created a state advisory council to set wages and working standards for the state’s more than half a million fast food employees. Weber said the referendum needed 623,212 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, which opponents of the measure successfully gathered. The update comes weeks after a judge put the law on hold after California’s Department of Industrial Relations said it intended to implement the law despite the referendum effort against it. After passing the legislature this summer with the bare minimum of votes needed, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law on Labor Day. Immediately after, opponents launched the referendum effort against it.

California voters will have the final say in a contentious debate between fast food workers and their franchisees over a new law that would allow the state to bargain wages and working conditions for counter-service workers across the state.

Previous coverage in the video player above

Secretary of State Shirley Weber announced Tuesday a referendum against the measure has qualified for the November 2024 ballot.

The measure, known as Assembly Bill 257 and the FAST Recovery Act, would have created a state advisory council to set wages and working standards for the state’s more than half a million fast food employees.

Weber said the referendum needed 623,212 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, which opponents of the measure successfully gathered.

The update comes weeks after a judge put the law on hold after California’s Department of Industrial Relations said it intended to implement the law despite the referendum effort against it.

After passing the legislature this summer with the bare minimum of votes needed, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the law on Labor Day. Immediately after, opponents launched the referendum effort against it.


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