From Where We Are

Fast-food workers strike against corporate wishes to overturn the AB 257 act

More than 200 workers gathered together to protest against fast-food corporations who are trying to challenge the new labor law

Fast-food workers are protesting against a referendum opposing law AB 257 outside of a Starbucks in Los Angeles.

It is mix of anger, disgust and bitter feeling shared by fast food workers this Tuesday. Striking outside of a Starbucks, against a new attempt by the fast-food industry to kill a new pro-worker state law.

Clemence Feniou has the story

On September 5, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act a.k.a AB 257.

The act establishes a ten member fast food council, that would be empowered to set a dignified wage as high as $22 an hour, better and safe working conditions for fast-food workers.

But the billion dollars corporations are not willing to agree this easily.

The industry need to collect about 623,000 signatures by the first week of December to launch the referendum on the November 2024 ballot.

A situation that would suspend the law and deprive workers of higher wages.

Miguel Santiago, a Los Angeles assemblymember calls the corporations to respect the law.

Miguel Santiago: All we’re saying is we passed the law, adhere to the law that’s passed. We have a council, that council is supposed to set foot and begin that work, and corporations are refusing to come to the table and corporations should not come to the ballot when they don’t like the outcome of what’s happening in legislature.

If the referendum qualifies, workers can expect Burger King, KFC, McDonald’s to spend gigantic amounts of money to overturn the law.

In defense, fast-food workers, are looking into unionizing the workers in every one of these companies as Felipe Casares, a coordinator at SEIU Local 721 explained.

Felipe Casares:So we’re hoping to make sure that companies like Starbucks, McDonald’s, Burger King understand that when they put millions into anti-worker ordinances, that the workers are gonna rise up, labor is gonna rise up, in demand that workers have a voice and a seat at the table just like AB 257 says. Just that Starbucks, Burger King, McDonald’s better count their days because we’re coming for them with the workers and we’re going to a get a union for every worker in their company.

The organizations at the strike, whether it is Fight for $15, SEIU 721, SBWorkers United or California Gig Workers Union, are ready to multiply the strikes and actions to prevent corporations from killing AB 257, another pro-worker law.

For Annenberg Media, I’m Clemence Feniou