Appropriations Committee on August 11, and will soon be put to a vote on the Senate floor.
It would create a government-appointed state council, plus local councils, to impose standards for employment issues governing over half a million workers in the fast-food industry. It would also extend liability for compliance to franchisors for chains with 30 or more franchises. Both are at the top of unions’ Christmas list requests from the Democrats who control California government, as a means to ulasan film leverage the industry into widespread unionization.
There are many reasons to question the claims being made. But you can’t even get past the title before anything beyond a cursory glance reveals serious problems.
AB 257’s title is intentionally misleading, as it does not suggest its real purpose (increased unionization now rejected by workers). When does such misrepresentation, however common it may be, make citizens better informed or lead them to support better policy? Such an approach would be taken to court by the FTC if it happened in the private sector, where false advertising is actionable, unlike when public policy is being discussed.
It is named the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (FAST Act). That title implies insufficient accountability and standards in the industry now, and its acronym suggests that it would lead to faster economic recovery. And both are “look over there” or “squirrel” distractions from the real intent to advance the union agenda.
As to the first, Leena Mann, owner-operator of three Sacramento-area franchises, noted that “If employees have any issues, they have current resources like Cal-OSHA, the Department of Industrial Relations.” In addition, “they also have a Labor Task Force for any issues. We are already in compliance with these agencies.” And as Shanna Shere wrote in the Orange County Register, “The bill’s proponents cited inferior working conditions in the counter-service restaurant space as the reason they’re pushing AB 257. However, the state’s own data does not support that rationale.” Further, if that were the real issue, “They would instead be urging the Legislature to fully fund, rather than slash the budget, of the Department of Industrial Relations and would be imploring the state to fill vacancies and speed up the review of cases.” In other words, there is already a great deal of government oversight and regulation, funded half-heartedly and done poorly. That is an argument for government reforms to enforce laws that would benefit employees and those they voluntarily deal with. It is not an argument for imposing more government regulations, much less regulations designed to force franchise employees to unionize when they are not now willing to do so.