February 29, 2024

Fast-food chains unite to defeat California’s new minimum law

Published on 10/01/2022 22:12

    (Credit: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP)

(Credit: Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP)

McDonald’s, Starbucks, Chipotle Mexican Grill and other major restaurant chains are spending millions of dollars trying to get the new California law changed. The “Save Local Restaurants” coalition said Friday it has raised $12.7 million to fight the so-called “Fast Recovery Act.”

Corporate brands contributed $9.9 million and individual franchisees contributed $2 million, including KFC and McDonald’s chain owners. According to the coalition, the trade unions are the rest. “Californians are going to bear the cost of this new law, so it’s fair for them to say whether it should be upheld,” said Matthew Haller, president of the International Franchise Association.

Gavin Newsom, a spokesman for California’s governor and Democrat, who signed the “Fast Recovery Act” into law on Sept. 1, declined to comment.

McDonald’s contributed about $360,000, while several individual franchisees in the chain contributed thousands of dollars each. Burger King, Subway and Domino’s Pizza each donated $250,000, while Wendy’s contributed $150,000, the filing shows.

California’s current minimum wage is $15 an hour and is expected to increase by 50 cents next year. California wants to create a ten-person panel, including workers, union representatives, employers and business attorneys, to set a minimum wage for fast-food workers next year of $22 and adjust it annually based on inflation.

The law applies to fast food chains with more than 100 locations across the country. Prohibits operators from retaliating against employees who file complaints.

The state government says opponents need to submit 623,000 valid voter signatures by Dec. 4 to suspend the law and qualify for the November 2024 ballot. Referendum supporters often spend millions of dollars in California collecting the signatures needed to get to the polls, and usually must collect more than the minimum because election officials can disqualify some.

Lawyers must collect signatures from 10,000 fast-food restaurant workers to officially establish the council. The Service Employees International Union, which is expected to play a major role in gathering signatures, declined to comment on its efforts. Source: Dow Jones Newswires.