California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a new bill to improve working conditions and wages for fast-food workers.

Signed on Labor Day, the new legislation aims to empower fast-food workers with new wages and workplace protections.

Assembly Bill 257 (AB 257), called the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery (FAST) Act, will see the creation of a ten-member council to set minimum standards for workers in the industry.

This council would have the power to raise the hourly minimum wage from $15.50 to up to $22 for a restaurant company with more than 100 locations across the country.

With representatives from both labour and management, the council would ensure basic standards for workers, covering wages, health and protection from discrimination and harassment.

Governor Newsom said: “California is committed to ensuring that the men and women who have helped build our world-class economy are able to share in the state’s prosperity.

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“Today’s action gives hardworking fast-food workers a stronger voice and seat at the table to set fair wages and critical health and safety standards across the industry.

“I’m proud to sign this legislation on Labor Day when we pay tribute to the workers who keep our state running as we build a stronger, more inclusive economy for all Californians.”

The bill was signed by the Governor despite objections from restaurant owners, who said that the new bill would increase consumer costs.

Last week, McDonald’s Corporation expressed concerns over the bill, which was passed by the California State Senate before being signed by the Governor.