BLOG: Referendum would overturn harmful fast food law

published on September 19, 2022 – 14:52
Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.

Imagine starting a business where the wages you pay, the hours you work, and the safe working conditions you provide are set by a state-mandated board.

Unlike a union, no one elected these people to represent anyone. Unlike a government agency, no one is responsible for their policy choices.

This is exactly the scenario California fast food restaurant owners find themselves in with the passage of AB 257, the so-called Fast Food Accountability Recovery Act. The union-backed law affects more than 500,000 fast food workers, their employers and, ultimately, their customers.

The law creates a so-called Fast Food Council within the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). This 10-member body will be chosen by the Governor, the President of the Assembly and the Rules Committee of the Senate. They consist of one representative from DIR, one representative from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), two representatives of Fast Food Employee Advocates, two representatives of Restaurant Employees restaurant, two representatives of fast food franchisors and two representatives of fast food franchisees.

The power this body will wield over a specific industry is unprecedented. In a year, this council will have the power to raise the minimum wage for fast food workers by $6.50 per employee. Economists who have studied the bill estimate it will increase food costs for affected restaurants by 20%, according to a joint statement from the National Restaurant Association and the International Franchise Association.

That is why a broad coalition of groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is mobilizing to give voters the chance to protect Californians and local business owners of this harmful law. Just last week, the The Attorney General has prepared a title and summary of the ballot measure that will hopefully prevent AB 257 from going into effect..

Keep an eye out for petitions. We need registered voters to get this referendum on the ballot and this advice off the books.

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