Fast-Food Workers Strike Across California

Above photo: Fast food employees walk out on Nov. 9, 2021, in a strike meant to draw attention to unsafe working conditions within the industry.

Employees are walking out to push for better working conditions, wages and hours, and to push lawmakers to pass AB 257.

Fast-food workers say they are fed up with their working conditions, and on Tuesday morning, they’re walking out.

Thousands of employees in the fast-food industry are going on strike across California, walking out for better working conditions, wages and hours and calling on lawmakers to offer them a bigger say in their futures.

A McDonald’s location on Floral Drive in Monterey Park, where workers allege sewers recently flooded the kitchen, is the SoCal site of the rally employees planned for 9 a.m.

Other rallies in the area are planned for 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

By and large, fast-food employees are not represented by a union. But they’ve found ways to band together, pushing for change within the industry with previous rallies.

Organizers promoted the one-day, statewide protest on social media, to put the spotlight on alleged unsafe conditions in the fast food industry.

Those striking are also advocating for the passage of state Assembly Bill 257, dubbed the “FAST Act.”

It would hold fast-food corporations accountable, if and when franchise owners failed to meet industry standards. It would also establish a sector council, with 11 members selected by the California governor, Speaker of the Assembly and Senate Rules Committee. Fast-food employees would get a seat at the table and a shared voice.

Additionally, the bill would set minimum industry standards for working conditions, wages and working hours, “related to the health, safety, and welfare of, and supplying the necessary cost of proper living to, fast food restaurant workers,” the bill states.

The vote for AB 257 is scheduled for January.

While the Los Angeles-area rallies will all be held at McDonald’s restaurants, the issues fast food employees are striking over are not limited to one fast-food franchise.