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Low wage, essential workers demand better protections in California

Low wage, essential workers demand better protections in California

Ivette Feliciano:

As for Ingrid Vilorio at the Jack in The Box in Castro Valley, she says that since filing her complaint, workers have received masks and Covid-19 related paid sick leave.

PBS NewsHour Weekend reached out for comment to the owner of the franchise and received no reply. But it did receive a statement from Jack in The Box Inc. the corporate office.It said the company has complied with all federal, state, and local laws and ordinances since the beginning of the pandemic.

Despite the recent wins for workers like Vargas and Vilorio, the changes they fought for only apply to the stores where they work, that’s because of how the franchise system works: While corporations contractually determine how their restaurants operate, the franchise, owned as small businesses, is legally responsible for wages and working conditions.

Workers with the fight for 15 campaign and a union are lobbying the state’s legislature to pass a law that will change that: The Fast Recovery Act, introduced last January.

It would make California the first state in the country to create a fast food sector council. A committee of fast food workers, employers and state agencies would determine new standards for the industry.

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