In September, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a landmark law to create a council with the authority to set wages and policies around working conditions in the fast food industry. That would help hundreds of thousands of workers in the industry all at once, rather than forcing them to fight for better wages and working conditions one McDonald’s or In-N-Out at a time.
The fast food companies did not like this one bit and mobilized to block it. This week, they succeeded by forcing it to a ballot vote in 2024 before the law can be implemented, if voters approve. McDonald’s and Yum Brands each put seven figures into the referendum campaign, money that went in part to hire canvassers who were caught lying about the ballot measure's purpose.
So at best, improvements for fast food workers are significantly delayed by corporate money. And it’s possible that the even greater flood of money the fast food companies will pour into the referendum will prevail and this effort to improve wages and working conditions will be pushed back.
● Workers at a third Trader Joe's location voted to unionize, 48 to 36. The Louisville, Kentucky, location follows workers forming unions at stores in Hadley, Massachusetts, and Minneapolis, Minnesota.
● Workers at a Hooters-wannabe restaurant called Twin Peaks (so clever) went on strike to protest a racist, sexist manager, Luis Feliz Leon reports at Labor Notes.
● Economist Nancy Folbre explains why the child care industry is still such a mess.
● The union membership rate has dropped to a historic low. It doesn't have to be this way, writes C.M. Lewis.
● Inflation should not change how policymakers respond to recession, the Economic Policy Institute’s Josh Bivens argues.
● A great piece on layoffs by the great Anne Helen Petersen.
● Starbucks workers are still organizing, despite the company’s crushing anti-union campaign:
Sign and send the petition to Starbucks company leadership and board: Stop union-busting and sign the Fair Election Principles.