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Fast-Food Workers to Strike in Statewide Protest Against Alleged Unsafe Working Conditions, and Setting Minimum Standards

A council would develop standards on wages, hours and other working conditions related to worker health and safety.

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Fast-food workers plan to strike Tuesday, holding rallies outside McDonald's locations in Monterey Park, South Los Angeles and West Hollywood as part of a statewide protest against allegedly unsafe working conditions and to demand passage of Assembly Bill 257.

Organizers of the statewide strike say Sen. Bob Archuleta, D-Pico Rivera, and Assemblymen Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica, and Miguel Santiago, DLos Angeles, will join a 9 a.m. rally outside a Monterey Park McDonald's where workers recently raised the alarm about sewage flooding the kitchen.

The trio is expected to declare their support for the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act, which would establish a Fast Food Sector Council to give workers a voice in setting minimum standards across the industry.

The council would be made up of workers, corporate representatives, franchisees and state officials charged with developing standards on wages, hours and other working conditions related to worker health and safety.

The bill, if passed in its current form, would cover fast-food restaurants with 30 or more establishments nationally that share a common brand or consumer image.

Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, D-Los Angeles, and Assemblyman, Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, are expected to attend a 3 p.m. rally at a West Hollywood McDonald's where employees complained over the summer about stifling temperatures due to a broken air conditioning unit. Dozens of workers lost their jobs with little notice when the restaurant closed last week, according to organizers.

While most fast-food workers are not union members, they have banded together to demand workplace changes at a time when restaurants and other foodservice businesses have struggled to fill open positions.

Research has raised concerns about the transmission of COVID-19 in fast-food workplaces during the last year of the pandemic. A UCSF study found that line cooks had a nearly 60% increase in mortality related to COVID-19.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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