California cooks, cashiers and baristas have been organizing, striking and fighting to better the fast-food industry for a decade.  In 2016 fast-food workers made California the first state in the nation to adopt a $15/hour minimum wage.  In 2023, they made history again when Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1228 into law.

This landmark law gives workers a seat at the table to develop better standards around wages, working hours and workplace conditions. And, it gives California’s 557,000 fast food a raise to at least $20/hour in April 2024.

Our fight doesn’t end here. Every day, fast-food workers continue to face hazards at work. They need additional protections to keep them safe and ensure their jobs are sustainable.

The Fast Food Council guarantees California fast-food workers the ability to shape industry-wide workplace standards and gives them the power to hold corporations accountable for sticking to those standards.

Rats, Sewer Water, and other on-the-job hazards


The abuses that fast food workers face every day include wage theft, sexual harassment, injury, workplace violence, wages that are among the lowest of any occupation group in the state; and more recently, egregious COVID-19 health violations.

Over 300 detailed health and safety complaints filed by California fast food workers over the last year demonstrate the human cost of disempowerment: this is an industry where frontline workers have too little power and where the business model is deliberately structured to allow corporate parents to siphon maximum profit, while franchisees are squeezed and often have little choice but to cut corners in the only place they can – namely, wages and working conditions. Even when the economic terms imposed by corporate franchisors make compliance all but impossible, franchisees are too-often solely responsible for ensuring restaurants are safe and in compliance with workplace and health and safety laws.

Poor working conditions and pervasive compliance failures do not hit all California communities equally. Nearly 80 percent of California’s fast-food workers are people of color. The industry’s workforce is primarily made up of those Latino/Latina, API and Black communities hardest hit by the pandemic. The glaring inequality in California that existed before the pandemic has only been exacerbated this past year.

88% of California fast-food workers do not know their rights on the job.


That’s why fast-food workers are building on this statewide victory and tackling issues at the local level.  Through local ordinances, workers in these major cities can further stabilize fast-food work by winning crucial protections needed to protect their rights at work, make fast food workplaces safer places for workers and customers alike, and make fast food restaurants fairer places to work.

City lawmakers are joining cooks, cashiers and baristas to make fast-food work, fair work for thousands of workers and their families.

In San Jose, dozens of workers are demanding that the San Jose City Council pass legislation to protect their rights, and they’re not alone. They are joined by a number of progressive organizations in their fight for Fast Food Justice:

SEIU 1021 ⋅ SEIU 2015 ⋅ SEIU USWW ⋅ SEIU 521 ⋅ Working Partnerships USA ⋅ UNITE HERE Local 19 ⋅ Silicon Valley Rising ⋅ IFPTE Local 21 ⋅ California Nurses Association ⋅ Latinos United for a New America (LUNA) ⋅ Asian Law Alliance ⋅ Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) ⋅ South Bay Community Land Trust ⋅ Amigos de Guadalupe Center for Justice and Nonprofits ⋅ Santa Clara County Wage Theft Coalition ⋅ Step Forward Foundation

What does the Fast Food Council do?


Gives Workers a Seat at the Table

Create a statewide Fast-Food Council, which would include worker, government and industry representatives, to set minimum health, safety and employment standards across the California fast food industry

Good for Business,
Good for California

Ensure that franchisees can provide good jobs with benefits without being undercut by corporate franchisors