Sacramento, CA (April 22, 2021) - The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California released the following statement upon the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee’s approval of the Fast Food Accountability and Standards (FAST) Recovery Act, AB 257 (Gonzalez). This landmark legislation will address long-standing concerns over worker safety and prevent exploitation in the fast food restaurant industry by giving workers the power to help set industry-wide health and safety standards and hold corporations accountable for keeping workers safe. 

Lizzet Aguilar, a McDonald’s worker in Los Angeles, told the committee:

“Like other essential workers, my co-workers and I have risked our safety to serve our customers and the community. But, McDonald’s has done little to protect us. We cannot transform the broken fast-food industry store by store, strike by strike. We need sweeping change across the industry and AB 257 is the first step to achieving that.”

Bob Schoonover, President of SEIU California and Executive Director of SEIU Local 721 made the following statement:

“In the face of unremitting abuses and exploitation – from being sexually harassed at work to having their wages stolen and being put at risk by unsafe conditions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic – fast food workers have emerged at the forefront of California’s movement for worker power, speaking out courageously and demanding to be treated with justice and basic human dignity. 

“The fast food workforce, which is over 80% workers of color, refuses to be left behind. Fast food workers are organizing to pass AB 257, landmark legislation that will put fast food worker voices front and center in the policy discussions that affect their ability to work safety and provide for their families, ensuring workers and employers work together with state agencies to raise overall standards and protections in the fast food industry. We’re proud to stand with these determined workers and pleased that the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee saw the important role this bill will play in the movement for racial and economic justice.”