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Other Workers Demand Minimum Wage Increase After California Fast-Food Workers Wage Hike

A picture of an increased wage
Source: Pinterest

Other Workers Demand Minimum Wage Increase After California Fast-Food Workers Wage Hike

Source: Pinterest

Recently, many fast-food restaurants and healthcare centers in California increased the minimum wage of their workers to at least $20 per hour; this took effect on April 1, 2024.

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, signed the increase in the minimum wage into law in 2023, and those who work in Healthcare and Fast Food have already benefited from more of it. This prompted other workers in different industries to clamor for an increase in their wages. 

Inflation at Its Peak

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California is currently experiencing inflation. The price of goods and services has increased, and people feel the need for their wages to grow as well as to pay bills and afford necessities. 

Workers in other industries watch their peers in fast-food restaurants enjoy wage increments. The minimum wage in California is $16; meanwhile, fast-food workers are already making an additional $4 when they all have to pay for the same inflated foods and services. 

California Is Experiencing Inflation Than Other States in the Country

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The prices of goods and services have generally risen in the United States but the situation in California seems worse as they have to pay a little bit extra for goods and services. 

According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office in March 2024, it was reported that prices of things have grown about 20 percent in the state since 2020. 


ALSO READ: California Governor Gavin Newsom Faces Minimum Wage Crisis

Sudden Increment in Prices of Fast-Food Products

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While workers in other industries are clamoring for an increase in wages, it is important to note that fast-food restaurants have already inflated the prices of their foods even before the new wages were introduced. 

San Diego Union-Tribune revealed that California’s fast-food prices have risen by 7%, and their full-service prices have risen by 3%. This makes it easy for them to actualize the increment. 

California Workers From Other Sectors Want Change in Their Wages

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Workers from other sectors also want to have a taste of the increment in their wages. They want to earn at least $20 per hour like their peers in the fast-food industry. They stress that $16 per hour is not enough for someone with family duties 

Someone who works at groceries making $16.35 per hour told the Los Angeles Times that he also wants an increment in his wages because he has a family to support. 

The Need for Immediate Increase of Wages

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Workers from other industries claimed that they also deserved to receive $20 per hour. Given the state’s situation, many are asking why they don’t deserve the same pay as their peers working at fast food restaurants. 

A national organization calling for higher salaries in the service sector opined that if the legislature could understand that some workers deserve $20 per hour, then every other employee in other sectors should, too. 

Consideration of Switching Jobs

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People who work in other sectors are starting to consider changing their jobs. In California today, every penny counts, and $4 extra seems like a lot to residents, who won’t mind changing their jobs to places that pay $20 per hour. 

People wouldn’t mind changing to healthcare or fast food if they had the opportunity to do so. This, in turn, might lead to staff shortages in Industries that refuse to carry out the needful. 


POLL—Should the Government Increase Taxes on the Wealthy To Reduce Economic Inequality?

Low Wage Sector To Experience Massive Staffing Crisis

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As the clamor for an increase in wages in low-wage sectors continues, people are starting to express their opinions of a possible massive staffing crisis if nothing is done in time. The economic situation is not friendly, and people need to survive. 

Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage, said an increase in minimum wages is now compulsory as people can no longer bear it. He further noted that prices of things keep increasing, but wages have not. 

Californians To Vote for $18-an-Hour Minimum Wage Proposal by November

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The United States general election is coming, and people will have to vote for their choice of candidates. Also, during the election in November, Californians will be able to vote for a new minimum wage. 

The new proposed minimum wage will increase from $16 to $18. If it receives enough votes, $18 will be the new minimum wage per hour by 2026, and this will automatically increase the minimum wage annually. 

Expensive Cost of Living in California

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California’s minimum wage might be surprising to other states, but it is still not worth it because of the high cost of living there. The country’s inflation seems to affect Californians more. 

According to federal statistics, the cost of living in California is at least $53,082 per year, while the minimum wage is about $33,000 per year. 


ALSO READ: California Leader Opposes New Funding Plan for Migrants

Fight for Immediate Increment of Wages

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California workers in other industries are not backing down on the fight for an increase in wages until it’s achieved. Unions are playing big roles in helping push the agenda across the state. 

Recently, the union representing hotels in San Diego clamored for the minimum wage to be raised to $25 per hour, while some are pushing for $20 per hour for fast food and healthcare.

Continuation in the Struggle Until Demands Are Met

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The unions have promised to keep making their intentions known about the increase in wages. The expensive cost of living in California is calling for it. People don’t want to keep working without having anything to show for it at the end of the day. 

However, some believe that even if the current demand is met, there is still the possibility of asking for more in the future. 

Possible Impacts of Increase of Minimum Wages on Businesses

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The state of California is currently experiencing a financial crisis, which has made taxation very high on those who still manage to run businesses in the state. Businesses have to face the issue of high taxation, an increase in goods and services, and high transportation costs, yet workers keep clamoring for an immediate increase in minimum wages. 

All these factors are making some businesses in California lay off workers and those companies that couldn’t continue have to move their business to other states. With the rate at which workers call for an immediate increase in minimum wages, companies will be left with no choice but to either inflate the price of their products just like fast food has done already or lay off some of their employees to meet public demands. Hence, inflation will likely rise the most. 


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