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California Fast-Food Workers See Significant Wage Increase

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California has implemented a substantial increase in the minimum wage for fast-food workers, marking a significant change in the labor landscape for some of the most prominent chains like McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC, Subway, and Starbucks.

Among those affected by this wage boost is Jaylene Loubett, a dedicated McDonald’s employee based in Los Angeles, who emphasizes the pressing need for better compensation in a state with high living costs and notable inflation rates.

The wage hike, spearheaded by labor leaders including the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), has been met with caution by restaurant owners and franchisees who warn of potential price hikes, reliance on delivery apps like Uber Eats, and even the reduction of workers’ hours in response to increased labor costs.

Meanwhile, Brian Hom, operating two franchise locations of Vitality Bowls, outlines plans to adjust menu prices by 5% to 10% to manage the higher wages for his over 30 staff members.

Seattle‘s experience with a minimum-wage raise from a decade ago, cited to have resulted in decreased working hours but not lost jobs, serves as a reference point for the potential outcomes of California’s new wage law.

The state’s industrial relations department now hosts the California Fast Food Council, a regulatory body composed of both industry representatives and worker advocates, tasked with establishing industry-specific standards and regulations.

Rachel Adams

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