Fast-food workers to strike across California for better working conditions

Fast-food workers across California are on strike Thursday to pressure lawmakers to pass a landmark law to improve and standardize working conditions.

Hundreds planned to gather outside Los Angeles City Hall at noon to demand the passage of Assembly Bill 257, called the Fast Food Recovery Act, which would create a state Fast Food Sector Council to set higher minimum standards for wages, hours of work and set conditions.

Workers at more than 300 restaurants across the state were expected to join the strike on Thursday.

According to a report by the International Franchise Assn. there are more than 700,000 fast food workers in California.

The Fight for $15 movement, organized by Service Employees International Union, said it stands up for those at the bottom of the barrel, the majority of whom are people of color.

“If the bill is signed, California could lead the nation in the fight for systemic change in the fast food sector,” Rep. Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), one of the bill’s co-authors, said in a January publication.

The Assembly approved the bill in January, and the Senate Labor, Public Employment and Pensions Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Monday.

Organized strikes by fast-food workers began last fall as frustration erupted over decades of stagnant or falling wages.

According to a survey released by SEIU last month, 85% of fast-food workers experienced wage theft.

A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that the franchise business model can impede workers’ ability to engage in collective bargaining, which AB 257 is trying to solve.

If passed, the bill would require the new council to recommend and set industry-wide minimum standards for more than half a million fast-food workers, while legally binding franchisors on franchisees’ compliance with those standards. Fast-food workers to strike across California for better working conditions

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