'It kills jobs' | Fast food chains fight back against worker pay and rights law

Fast food chains fight back against worker pay and rights law

Several of the US’ biggest fast food chains are currently in the midst of attempting to block a California state law setting worker conditions and minimum wages up to $22 an hour for fast-food employees.

Well-known companies such as Chipotle, Starbucks, Chick-fil-A, McDonald’s, and KFC-owner Yum! Brands each recently donated over $1million to a campaign called ‘Save Local Restaurants’, which opposes the law, and looks to have it overturned.

Other advocacy groups, successful fast-food chains and small restaurant owners have also hit out at the proposed legislation, stating that it damages smaller businesses and increased financial burden.

“This law creates a food tax on consumers, kills jobs, and pushes restaurants out of local communities,” said the Save Local Restaurants coalition, as reported by CNN.

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The new law, called the FAST Act, was signed last year by California Governor Gavin Newsom.

However, many workers’ rights groups have shown support to the action, claiming that the new state-wide law would protect vulnerable workers, increase wealth among poorer demographics and ensure that fast food workers were treated fairly.

In terms of demographics, throwing out the new law would disproportionately affect several groups far more than others. For example, out of around 5,000 California-based fast food workers, nearly 80% are people of color and around 65% are women, according to the Service Employees International Union.

Those looking to see how the case may develop should be reminded of a ruling in 2020, when Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart managed to persuade voters to pass Proposition 22, a ballot measure that exempted the companies from reclassifying their workers as employees.


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