California Increases Minimum Wage, Protections for Fast-Food Workers
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LOS ANGELES ~ Today, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation that will increase the minimum wage for fast-food workers 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.

The new law will benefit over 500,000 fast-food workers in California who have been fighting for higher wages and better working conditions for decades. Governor Newsom said "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."

Assemblymember Holden expressed his gratitude to the SEIU and all who supported this effort saying "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."

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The new law also sets an annual wage increase cap at the lesser of 3.5% or the annual increase in the US-CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. It also ensures consistency for a statewide industry wage by stating only the Council may set wages for fast food workers until January 1st 2029 when it will sunset.

David Huerta President of SEIU California said "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."

Ingrid Vilorio a California fast food worker leader in Fight For $15 said "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 across the country who has bravely gone on strike exposed issues our industry made bold demands corporations that knew could do better by frontline workers." She added "We now have power win transformational changes every fast-food cook cashier barista our state hope what win here shows workers other industries other states that when fight win!"

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