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McDonald’s, Domino's, Fast Food Bigwigs Raise $12.7Mn to Overturn California Bill Ensuring Higher Minimum Wage

By: News Desk

Edited By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar

News18.com

Last Updated: October 01, 2022, 14:32 IST

Los Angeles, California

Fast food chain workers in California and their unions claim that if the bill is overturned they will lose their seat at the table (Image: Shutterstock/Representative Image)

Fast food chain workers in California and their unions claim that if the bill is overturned they will lose their seat at the table (Image: Shutterstock/Representative Image)

The fast food industry bigwigs have named the grouping Save Local Restaurants and will require 623,000 valid voter signatures to stop the implementation of FAST Recovery Act

McDonald’s Corp, Domino’s Pizza Inc, Subway and other big restaurant chains have come together and pledged millions of dollars to try and overturn a California law which will set the state’s minimum wage for the fast food industry as high as $22 an hour in 2023, the Wall Street Journal said in a report.

The law also prohibits fast food operators from retaliating against employees who make complaints. It will also set a framework for reinstatement of back wages or employment.

Also Read: California Moves Bill which Will Allow Govt to Decide Wages of Fast Food Chain Workers

They are calling their coalition - ‘Save Local Restaurants’. They have raised $12.7 million to fight the FAST Recovery Act. The FAST Recovery Act was passed by both the Assembly and State Senate, and Democrat governor of California Gavin Newsom signed it on September 5.

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The Save Local Restaurants coalition wants to postpone the implementation of the law which will begin on January 1 and wants voters to decide on this through the state’s referendum process if the law should be permanently repealed in 2024.

For that the coalition will have to gather hundreds of thousands of signatures in order to hold a referendum and also to put a hold on the implementation of the law until voters vote in the referendum.

The coalition claims that it raised $12.7 million to fight the law of which $9.9 million came from corporate brands and individual franchisees have given $2 million. They told the WSJ that trade associations donated the rest of the amount.

McDonald’s, Subway, Yum Brands Inc., Burger King, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., Domino’s, In-N-Out Burger and Panda Restaurant Group Inc. each donated close to $250,000 toward the effort. The coalition later said Starbucks Corp., Chick-fil-A Inc. and Wendy’s Co. have also donated to the coalition.

A state filing showed that along with McDonald’s, Subway, Yum Brands Inc., Burger King, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., Domino’s, In-N-Out Burger and Panda Restaurant Group Inc., the US Chamber of Commerce, International Franchise Association and the National Restaurant Association also donated $250,000 each.

Meanwhile, unions representing workers say that the fast food industry is trying to take their seat away at the table. The Los Angeles chapter of Fight for $15, a union-backed interest group, said that the fast food companies aren’t publicly prepared to obey the law. “They’re spending millions to overturn it and take away our seat at the table,” they said in a social media post.

The fast food industry also alleged that the California law singles them out versus other types of restaurants or industries. The law applies to fast food restaurants that are part of a chain and also to restaurants where customers order their food and pay before eating and to chain restaurants which have 100 or more locations nationally.

The lobby now needs 623,000 valid voter signatures by December 4 to put the law on hold, and qualify for a referendum on the November 2024 ballot, the WSJ said citing the state’s rules. Supporters of the law also need to gather signatures from 10,000 fast food restaurant workers to set up a council, the report further added.

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first published:October 01, 2022, 14:32 IST
last updated:October 01, 2022, 14:32 IST