Newsom signs fast food worker bill, gives workers power and protection

Fast food workers say they're excited about the new law, but opponents say this will impact food prices for consumers.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2022
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Fast food workers say they're excited about the new law, but opponents say this will impact food prices for consumers.

HOLLYWOOD (KABC) -- Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law Monday giving fast food workers more power and protections. Workers say they're excited about the new law, but opponents say this will impact food prices for consumers.

Fast food workers became emotional Monday morning after Governor Newsom announced the signing of bill AB257 known as the Fast Recovery Act. Fast food workers will now get a say in their future wages and working conditions.

The bill would create a new 10-member Fast Food Council with equal numbers of workers' delegates and employers' representatives, along with two state officials, empowered to set minimum standards for wages, hours and working conditions in California.

"We were able to have our voices heard. A lot of people didn't believe in us, a lot of people bashed us but we were able to accomplish and make history," said Evelyn Barillas, a Subway employee in Los Angeles.

But opponents of this law warn that as labor costs increase, food prices for consumers will too.

An amendment in AB257 would allow the minimum wage for fast food workers to jump to $22 an hour, compared to the statewide minimum of $15.50 an hour.

"That's also going to cost people their jobs because businesses are going to try and find a way to save money," said Stuart Waldman, president of Valley Industry and Commerce Association.