Next year, California could raise its minimum wage to $22 an hour for fast-food workers, but some of the industry’s most prominent players are working to block the measure.
KFC Yum! Brands, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Starbucks and several other chains have donated $1 million each to Save Local Restaurants, a coalition of small business owners that are against the wage hike.
The FAST Act was signed by California Governor Gavin Newsom last year, with the intention of it going into effect at the beginning of January. However, the secretary of state unveiled a petition that would halt the law from going into effect. Now, it will go to a vote in the 2024 general election.
The law led to the creation of the Fast Food Council, which features representatives from labor unions, employers and the state government, who were given the opportunity to set a proposed minimum wage, as well as other employee benefits and protections.
While supporters of the bill say raising the minimum wage will help retain and attract employees, particularly as many of these workers come from disadvantaged communities, opponents say that it will cause fast-food prices to grow and lead to layoffs.