Landmark Law Creates First of its Kind Council Empowering Workers to Help Set Industry Standards
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2022
Contact: Joel Mendelson, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jobs With Justice
Washington, D.C.—After a lengthy effort by fast-food workers, unions, and other workers’ rights organizations, California Assembly Bill 257, or the FAST Recovery Act, is finally law.
The landmark legislation, signed into law by California governor Gavin Newsom on Labor Day, will establish the nation’s first industry-wide regulatory council that includes fast-food workers. The FAST Recovery Act empowers the council to set health, safety, and employment standards for fast-food workers and could serve as a model for similar boards elsewhere in the United States.
“The passage of the FAST Recovery Act marks a major turning point for California’s fast-food workers,” said Adam Shah, National Policy Director at Jobs With Justice. “We know outcomes are better when workers have a seat at the table, and that’s exactly what the FAST Recovery Act accomplishes. Workers will play a critical role in determining health, safety, and employment standards for California’s fast-food workers. To say that’s a huge victory for workers is a vast understatement. It gives workers more dignity and control over their economic life and redefines what is possible for fast food workers as well as workers across industries and around the country.”
Working people are increasingly refusing to accept the economic system that has dominated the last 40 years. Seventy-one percent of people in the United States now approve of unions workers have recently voted to join unions at major employers like Amazon, Starbucks, and Trader Joe’s, just to name a few. Jobs With Justice applauds Governor Newsom and the California Assembly and Senate for recognizing the importance of heeding workers’ demands by enacting the FAST Recovery Act.
Jobs With Justice has long-supported efforts to pass the FAST Recovery Act, including submitting official comments to California state legislators expressing our strong support for the bill. As campaign efforts mounted in mid-2021, Jobs With Justice Executive Director Erica Smiley published an op-ed outlining her strong support for the FAST Recovery Act. Last November, Smiley joined with SEIU for a virtual solidarity rally with fast-food workers, calling on California legislators to pass the bill.
Just over one year later, that bill is now law.
“Jobs With Justice, alongside Jobs With Justice San Francisco, are thrilled to have played a small, but meaningful part in the advocacy of the FAST Recovery Act,” said Erin Johansson, Research Director at Jobs With Justice. “But this is truly a victory by and for workers. We are ready to support workers as the state implements the law and we cannot wait to watch and support the workers as they lead the way.”