Governor Gavin Newsom and the state’s legislative Democrats just gave a whopper of a gift to the SEIU labor union – Gov. Gavin Newsom just signed Assembly Bill 257 by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Los Angeles), to unionize the state’s 556,000 fast-food workers fast food workers.
To gin up the SEIU’s latest union-member recruitment, fast food workers have been protesting wages, hours and safety at the State Capitol.
California is about to become the first state in the country to unionize fast food employees by expanding state government to create a new Fast Food Council within the Department of Industrial Relations to set minimum health, safety and employment standards across the California fast food industry – even though every business in California operates under health, safety and employment standards set by state and local laws.
“California is committed to ensuring that the men and women who have helped build our world-class economy are able to share in the state’s prosperity,” said Governor Newsom. “Today’s action gives hardworking fast-food workers a stronger voice and seat at the table to set fair wages and critical health and safety standards across the industry. I’m proud to sign this legislation on Labor Day when we pay tribute to the workers who keep our state running as we build a stronger, more inclusive economy for all Californians.”
As the Globe reported August 17th, the California Restaurant Association opposed AB 257 because AB 257 “requires fast-food giants to ensure all their restaurants have the necessary resources to operate safely”:
“AB 257 does nothing to help hard-working California families struggling with these costs, in fact it would only serve to hit their wallets even harder. also harms tens of thousands of counter service restaurants. It would impose increased employee costs and onerous new workplace rules at a time when many are still struggling to get back on their feet after the devastating impacts of the government mandated COVID closures. Many restaurants are struggling with labor shortages and increased costs for food and supply chain delays – all while trying desperately to stay afloat. We should be helping this vital sector of our state’s economy keep their doors open, not actively pursuing measures that would kick them closed.”
The International Franchise Association also opposed AB 257:
“Recent statistics show growing numbers of women and minorities owning franchise establishments, underscoring the importance of preserving the small business franchise model to promote minority and female entrepreneurship as well as continuing an economic recovery from the pandemic.
“It is the local franchisee who owns and operates the establishment, not the franchisor. Making labor decisions for franchisees is not a brand standard franchisors can establish or enforce under any law. [This bill] makes the improper assumption, and reaches the improper conclusion, that the franchisor and franchisee have some collective control over each other’s day-to-day business affairs.”
Expect lawsuits over AB 257 because the Legislature certainly does, but not what you think:
“This bill authorizes a cause of action for any employee of a fast food restaurant who is discharged, discriminated or retaliated against for exercising rights established by the FAST Recovery Act. The estimated workload cost of one hour of court time is $956. If 20 cases are filed statewide resulting in 20 hours of court time for each case, costs would be approximately $382,400.”
Get ready for more expensive, ‘slow food’ or high fast food unemployment after being replaced by kiosks clerks.