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Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Fast Food Compromise in CA

Taryn Luna at LAT:
Fast-food companies agreed over the weekend to pull a California referendum off next year’s ballot that sought to reverse a landmark worker-protections law, forgoing a costly political fight with labor unions over employee pay.

The deal will result in an increase in the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $20 per hour in April and form a new council of representatives for workers and companies to consider pay bumps in the future, according to sources involved in the negotiations.

Negotiated with the help of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s top advisors, the agreement represents a rare compromise that allows business groups and labor to avoid a ballot fight over repealing a law boosting fast-food wages that could have topped $100 million in campaign spending.

“It is a powerful, amazing day,” said Tia Orr, executive director of SEIU California. “The new bill really clears a path for workers to have their victory back.”

Sean Kennedy, the National Restaurant Assn.’s executive vice president of public affairs, said the agreement “protects local restaurant owners from significant threats that would have made it difficult to continue to operate in California. It provides a more predictable and stable future for restaurants, workers and consumers.”