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California Fast Food Workers Union

Victories: $20 hour for California fast food workers

As of April 1st, California fast food workers must earn at least $20/hour. This is why $20 an hour is good for California’s fast food workers and employers. Work in the California fast food industry and not making $20/hour? Send us a report!

Our research shows In the real world, fast food jobs increase or stay the same after big boosts in the minimum wage:

Fast food jobs and the minimum wage increase together in California.

Source: SEIU analysis of data from Bureau of Labor Statistics & California Department of Finance

Raising the wage for fast food workers is a matter of racial and gender justice.

With over half a million workers, 80 percent of them workers of color, 60 percent Latina or Latino, and two-thirds women, the fast food industry must be a vital component of any effort to address inequity through empowerment.

New report by the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office is full of good reasons for raising fast food workers’ pay to $20:

Robots aren’t replacing humans in fast food restaurants:

There’s a restaurant labor shortage – higher pay helps: A fast food industry publication said the $20 wage could help restaurants “recruit more staff and boost morale.”

Fast food corporations don’t need to raise prices more – they have already raised prices a lot:

“Greedflation” has fattened profits. 

Profits at the nine large publicly traded fast food chains have roared back since the pandemic. That list includes McDonald’s, Starbucks, YUM! Brands (parent of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut), Restaurant Brands International (Burger King, Popeye’s and others), Wendy’s, Chipotle, Jack in the Box, Domino’s Pizza and Papa John’s Pizza.

Roosevelt Institute research establishes that implementation of the $20 per hour fast-food minimum wage in California will not necessitate price hikes or employment losses because profits in the industry are sufficiently high to absorb the greater operating costs.

Pizza Hut planned move to third party delivery over a year before wages went to $20: Press reports have often tied the recent layoff of 1,200 Pizza Hut drivers, to the new $20/hour fast food minimum wage, which took effect April 1. However, as Los Angeles Times reported, Pizza Hut began outsourcing deliveries to Uber Eats and other delivery services in 2022. Pizza Hut made that move because they couldn’t find enough drivers. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported that because of the driver shortage Pizza Hut and other chains might “expand perks and benefits, including time off and in some cases the use of company-owned cars.”

Franchisees are often large businesses: Fast food franchise owners often portray themselves as small business people. But many franchise owners are wealthy, large operators: 

When franchisees face financial challenges, franchisors, whose profits have been increasing, can and should lighten their demands on franchisees. They already do this often, when it serves their interests.