California Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom has signed into law a measure to raise the minimum wage for most fast-food workers to $20 an hour.
The new minimum wage increase will go into effect in 2024.
“That’s a romanticized version of a world that doesn’t exist,” Newsom said at the bill-signing event, according to the Associated Press.
“We have the opportunity to reward that contribution, reward that sacrifice, and stabilize an industry.”
The minimum wage for all workers in California is currently $15.50.
However, the new minimum wage for fast food workers will apply to restaurants that have at least 60 locations, with an exception for restaurants that make and sell their own bread.
California fast food workers, on average, make about $16.60 per hour, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“That was a tectonic plate that had to be moved,” Newsom said during the signing, reference=ing to negotiations to finalize the legislation.
Newsome noted there are over 550,000 fast-food workers at 30,000 locations statewide.
He added that contrary to the perception that fast-food workers are teenagers, the majority are the primary providers for their families.
He added that 80% are minorities, and two-thirds are women.
“We’re not just about growth,” he said.
“This state is about inclusion.”
The new law also establishes a “Fast Food Council,” including representatives for both workers and employers that can increase further pay and set working conditions standards, in what labor leaders hailed as a historic move.
As Reuters noted, The overall minimum wage in California is $15.50 an hour, among the highest of any state. The federal minimum wage, which has remained unchanged since 2009, is $7.25 an hour, or $15,080 a year for an employee working 40 hours a week.
It’s not all good news for fast food workers, though.
Last year, McDonald’s announced it was testing automation technology to replace its workforce and make many of its employees redundant.
As The Daily Fetched reported:
The fast food restaurant announced that customers could use kiosks and a mobile app to get food from a conveyor belt instead of speaking with a staff member.
The new concept is designed to give the restaurant team “the ability to concentrate more on order speed and accuracy, which makes the experience more enjoyable for everyone,” Keith Vanecek, the restaurant’s franchisee, said.
Meanwhile, critics said the restaurant concept came following left-wing politician’s call for a minimum wage hike.
The test restaurant is also a blow to the marketplace as historic labor shortages present difficulties to companies attempting to fill their payrolls amid worsening inflationary pressures.
“The real minimum wage is zero, and you are always replaceable,” BASEDPolitics President Hannah Cox said on social media, alluding to a phrase favored by conservative economist Thomas Sowell.
“If you want more money, find a way to add more value. Anyone telling you differently has no idea how to eradicate poverty.”
The real minimum wage is zero and you are always replaceable.— Hannah Cox (@HannahDCox) December 22, 2022
If you want more money find a way to add more value. Anyone telling you differently has no idea how to eradicate poverty. https://t.co/61DyAP3i0P