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Fast Food Workers in California Could Get $20 an Hour

McDonalds discrimination allegations
A McDonald’s fast food restaurant is seen in Belmont, United States on April 03, 2023. McDonaldâs reportedly temporarily shuts its U.S. corporate offices ahead of layoffs. (Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

*More than a million fast food and healthcare workers in California are set to get raises after labor unions struck a deal earlier this week.

By 2024, most of California’s 500,000 fast-food workers will earn at least $20 per hour, as part of a new bill, USA Today reports. Over the next 10 years, healthcare workers’ salaries will increase to at least $25 per hour under a separate bill. Californians who work in hospitals, dialysis clinics, and other facilities will receive a salary increase, but doctors and nurses will not.

Washington state, with a minimum wage of $15.74 an hour, is the country’s highest minimum wage outside of Washington, DC. California has a minimum wage of $15.50.

“For the last decade, fast-food cooks, cashiers and baristas in California have been sounding the alarm on the poverty pay and unsafe working conditions plaguing our industry,” Ingrid Vilorio, a fast-food worker and member of the SEIU, said in a statement, CBS News reports. 

“We have always known that to solve these problems, we need a seat at the table with our employers and the power to help shape better rules across our industry,” Vilorio said.

Here’s more from USA Today:

The proposed bills must go through California’s state legislature and then be signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom. The bills have already been endorsed by both labor unions and fast food and health care industry groups and are expected to pass this week.

The state assembly also voted to advance a proposal to give striking workers unemployment benefits — a policy change that could eventually benefit Hollywood actors and writers and Los Angeles-area hotel workers who have been on strike for much of this year.

“I think fast food cooks and cashiers have fundamentally changed the politics of wages in this country and have reshaped what working people believe is possible when they join together and take on corporate power and systemic racism,” said Mary Kay Henry, international president of the SEIU, per CBS News. 

As USA Today reports, Assembly Bill 1228 would raise the minimum wage for workers at restaurants with 60 or more locations nationwide. Restaurants like Panera Bread that make and sell their own bread are the only exception.

READ MORE: Surely, You’re Not Surprised – Voters in California Oppose Cash Reparations for Slavery

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