- Francisco Quintana
- Communications Director
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SACRAMENTO, CA – Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo praised the signing of AB 257 into law by Governor Gavin Newsom, which she joint-authored with Assemblymember Chris Holden and others. Known as the FAST Recovery Act, the enactment of this new law acts as a major step to improve working conditions and wages for fast-food workers.
The bill will guarantee California fast-food workers the ability to shape industry-wide workplace standards and give them the power to hold corporations accountable for sticking to those standards.
“This is the first time ever that fast food workers will be able to come to the table and be a part of creating workforce development standards and safety standards for the industry that they work in” said Assemblymember Carrillo. “As a proud principal co-author of AB 257, I am proud to declare its passage a victory for working class people.”
“The FAST Recovery Act will create the nation’s first fast food state council, and also tasks the council with conducting a full review every three years on the adequacy of fast food restaurant health safety, and employment standards. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which fast food workers were hailed as essential, the individuals working these jobs became among the hardest hit, lacking access to PPE, lacking basic minimum safety standards and suffered the most from COVID-19 positive cases and deaths. For the close to 700,000 fast food workers, most of whom are Latinos, this council is a necessity to ensure the safety and well being of this workforce, which ultimately benefits the consumer.”
In a statement released following the signing of the bill, Assemblymember Chris Holden, the bill’s lead author, thanked advocates and praised the strides taken by the bill “Thank you to the sponsors SEIU and President Mary Kay Henry-For their innovative and yet common sense design of a new way to ensure marginalized workers have a voice in the workplace…Once AB 257 goes into effect, it will have immediate impact on elevating the voice of the fast food worker, by giving them a say in determining workplace standards..” said Assemblymember Holden.
Members of the Fast Food Council at the Department of Industrial Relations will include fast food workers and their advocates, franchisees, franchisors and representatives from the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development and the Department of Industrial Relations.
“Governor Newsom’s signature on AB 257 makes this Labor Day an historic one and shows what’s possible when working people unite and raise our voices,” said Anneisha Williams, a Los Angeles fast-food worker and leader in the Fight for $15 and a Union. “We’ve gone on strike, marched in the streets and rallied across the state to make sure our demand for a voice on the job was heard even as powerful corporations pulled out all the stops to silence us. We look forward to having a say in creating safe and healthy workplaces across the fast-food industry and to AB 257 serving as a model for workers across the country who desperately need a seat at the table.”
SEIU President Mary Kay Henry weighed in heavily on the potential for AB 257 to set a national example, bringing to light the challenges faced by fast food workers in all fifty states “Ten years after 200 fast-food workers walked off the job in New York City and galvanized an international movement of workers demanding $15/hr and union rights, the passage of AB 257 is the most significant advance in workers’ fight for fairness on the job in a generation. Workers from coast to coast are stepping into their power, and they’ll take their fight to any company in any industry. It’s time for corporations like McDonald’s, Amazon, Starbucks and Delta to come to a national bargaining table to raise standards across their industries and ensure every worker is respected, protected and paid a living wage.”
For full text of the bill, visit: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov
Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo was elected as the representative of the 51st Assembly District in December of 2017. She is currently the Chair of Budget Subcommittee No. 4 on State Administration, and a member of the Assembly Committees on Appropriations, Budget, Health, Housing and Community Development, and Utilities and Energy.