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    California Increases Minimum Wage, Protections for Fast-Food Workers

    Beginning in April next year, California’s minimum wage for the state’s 500,000 fast-food workers will increase to $20 per hour – the average hourly wage for fast-food workers in 2022 was $16.21. Through the Fast Food Council, workers will have a stronger say in setting minimum wages and working conditions, including health and safety standards.

    Alongside fast-food workers, labor leaders, and legislators, Governor Gavin Newsom today signed legislation increasing the minimum wage for fast-food employees to $20 per hour, beginning April 1, 2024. The legislation, AB 1228 by Assemblymember Chris R. Holden (D-Pasadena), authorizes the Fast Food Council to set fast-food restaurant standards for minimum wage, and develop proposals for other working conditions, including health and safety standards and training.

    “California is home to more than 500,000 fast-food workers who – for decades – have been fighting for higher wages and better working conditions. Today, we take one step closer to fairer wages, safer and healthier working conditions, and better training by giving hardworking fast-food workers a stronger voice and seat at the table,” said Governor Newsom.

    “Today, we witnessed the signing of one of the most impactful fast food wage laws that this country has ever seen,” said Assemblymember Holden. “We did not just raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour for fast food workers. We helped a father or mother feed their children, we helped a student put gas in their car, and helped a grandparent get their grandchild a birthday gift. Last month, when we were knee deep in negotiations, hundreds of workers slept in their cars and missed pay days to come give their testimony in committee and defend their livelihood. Sacrifice, dedication, and the power of a government who serves its people is what got us to this moment. My goal for AB 1228 was to bring relief and solutions where they were needed and together with my colleagues and Governor Newsom, that is what we have done. Thank you to the SEIU and all who supported this important effort. We, as a state, should be proud.”

    “After ten years of vibrant and courageous activism, which included raising the minimum wage for all workers in the state and bringing billions of dollars into working families’ pockets, fast food workers have now achieved something historic,” said David Huerta, President of SEIU California and SEIU USWW. “We extend our deepest gratitude to the Governor for his leadership in fighting poverty, empowering workers, and moving us toward a more just and equitable society.”

    WHAT AB 1228 DOES

    • Repeals and replaces provisions of the statute creating the Fast Food Council within the Department of Industrial Relations, creating a process to develop minimum fast food restaurant employment standards, related to wages, working conditions, and training – upon the withdrawal of the AB 257 referendum:
      • Establishes a minimum wage of $20 per hour for fast-food workers beginning April 1, 2024 and allows the council to increase this wage annually.
      • The annual wage increase is capped at the lesser of 3.5% or the annual increase in the US-CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.
    • Allows the Council to develop and propose other labor, health or safety standards for rule-making by the appropriate body.
    • Ensures consistency for a statewide industry wage by stating only the Council may set wages for fast food workers until January 1, 2029.
    • The Council and its authority sunset January 1, 2029.

    “It’s time to get to work so we can bring real solutions shaped by real workers to the Fast Food Council. Today’s victory is just the beginning,” said Ingrid Vilorio, a California fast food worker and leader in the Fight for $15. “From day one of our movement, we have demanded a seat at the table so we could improve our pay and working conditions. This moment was built by every fast-food worker, both here in California and across the country, who has bravely gone on strike, exposed the issues in our industry and made bold demands of corporations that we knew could do better by their frontline workers. We now have the power to win transformational changes for every fast-food cook, cashier and barista in our state. We hope that what we win here shows workers in other industries and other states that when we fight, we win!”

    California Governor Gavin Newsom
    California Governor Gavin Newsomhttps://www.gov.ca.gov/
    Gavin Newsom is the Governor of California, former Lieutenant Governor of California, and former Mayor of San Francisco.


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