FAST RECOVERY ACT: GOOD FOR BUSINESS. BETTER FOR CALIFORNIA.
Corporate fast-food franchisors will do almost anything to expand their profits—even in a pandemic. But local California franchise owners AND workers have been hanging on together through COVID-19 and economic uncertainty. The best local fast food franchisees are high road employers. They know their hard-working frontline employees kept the doors open during the darkest days of 2020. They believe their workers are essential. They are committed to protecting their workers and their profits.
CA franchisees have heard all this before, and they are not buying it. It’s time for franchisees and their workers to stick together and SUPPORT the FAST Recovery Act.
Back to the Future?
In 2015, the International Franchise Association (IFA) opposed a new law to put limits on unfair terminations of franchise agreements & protect local franchisees’ investments in their businesses. The IFA predicted dire consequences, saying the bill would make California “an unattractive place” for franchising.
But seven years after the law passed, none of the industry’s predictions have proven true.
Now, in 2021, the IFA once again says the sky is falling – that corporate franchisors would not want to do business if they have to share in the costs of running safe and compliant restaurants. Echoing their 2015 talking points, they claim the FAST Recovery Act would mean “dismantling of the franchise business model in California.”
Meanwhile, on its website, the IFA calls California “a great place to start a franchise.” No wonder California franchise operators ask: Who is really fighting for us?
Contact us at SEIUCalifornia@thefightfor15.org
1. Makes it harder to squeeze California franchisees.
Profit margins are thin for fast-food franchisees, and wages are low for fast-food workers. That’s because corporate franchisors are regularly squeezing both California franchisees and workers. They may prevent franchisees from using less-expensive suppliers.
They may require franchisees to stay open during unprofitable overnights. They may prevent franchisees from raising prices. So, local franchisees often can’t make a profit without keeping wages low.
The FAST Recovery Act will set standards for all of fast food, reducing pressure to pay low wages. If corporate franchisors set terms that keep California franchisees from making enough money to meet the new standards – that will be against the law.
2. Makes corporate franchisors responsible for the problems they create.
Corporate franchisors say local franchise operators are in business “for yourself but not by yourself.” Until local franchisees get into trouble. If an employee files a wage or safety claim, corporate franchisors say: Now, you’re on your own.
They point to contract clauses that say: the local franchise operator is solely responsible, and the corporate franchisor can’t be sued.
Under the FAST Recovery Act, corporate franchisors will share liability for labor law violations. And, if a California franchisee ends up with any federal, state or local legal liability because of the terms of the franchise agreement, corporate franchisors have to help cover the cost.
3. Makes it harder for corporate franchisors to raise costs on California franchisees.
Under the FAST Recovery Act, when corporate franchisors move to increase California franchisees’ costs, franchisees can push back if those resources are needed to comply with wage and safety standards.
Expanded corporate profits and higher dividends shouldn’t be more important than the safety of a half million workers, their families and their communities across California.
4. Protects high-road employers.
The FAST Recovery Act creates a sector council, including employer representatives, to set common sense standards for the industry. That means employers who pay fair wages, properly train employees, and provide safe workplaces won’t be undercut by corporate chains paying poverty wages.
5. A forum for honest dialogue.
The FAST Recovery Act’s fast-food sector council will offer a forum for dialogue between California franchisees and workers about how the industry should operate.
Bringing together the voices and experiences of employers and employees can only make for a better industry.
The best California franchise operators have nothing to fear and much to gain from sitting at the table to discuss industry challenges with the workers they depend on every day to succeed.
what the media is saying…
Legislation seeks to upgrade safety standards for fast-food workers amid COVID-19
“A bill introduced in the California State Assembly on Thursday excoriates the fast-food industry for its response to the pandemic, contending that chains have “routinely flouted” measures intended to protect the state’s 500,000 fast-food workers — and their millions of customers — from COVID-19.
The FAST Recovery Act, which stands for Fast Food Accountability and Standards, contains withering criticism of the industry’s response to the pandemic but doesn’t detail what new regulations it seeks to impose.”
Trabajadores de la industria de comida rápida luchan para empoderarse
“A más de un año del inicio de la pandemia del covid-19, estudios revelan que entre los trabajadores esenciales más afectados están los cocineros y cajeros de comida rápida. Se estima que California tiene más de medio millón de trabajadores en esta industria.
Mientras los empleados se aseguran que sus comunidades estén alimentadas y mantienen las economías locales en movimiento, a ellos frecuentemente se les ha tratado como prescindibles.”
McDonald’s workers want more say over California labor conditions. This plan would help them
“Lizzet Aguilar knew to speak up when she couldn’t hug her son.
As the pandemic raged, she said she had worked for weeks at McDonald’s in Los Angeles without getting masks. She saw her co-workers being sent to clean other stores where people were getting ill. Aguilar went on a strike, then filed a complaint to the state’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, commonly called Cal-OSHA. The blowback was immediate and fierce, she said.”