Fast-Food Workers Claim Victory in a completely new York Labor Effort

The completely new group will not seek to negotiate contracts as unions do, although its leaders say which will most likely push for a higher minimum wage and also also also for many various other issues fast-food workers support, including affordable housing, immigration reform, better police-community relations and also also also improvements to completely new York’s subway system.

The Restaurant Law Center — the legal arm of the National Restaurant Association — has filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to overturn the law. Among the center’s arguments can be which requiring the restaurant owners to forward money to workers’ groups can be unconstitutional forced speech under the First Amendment.

“We think which law can be a way of trying to get restaurants to fund groups” which “will harass restaurants with money through the restaurants,” said Angelo Amador, the law center’s executive director. “which doesn’t make any sense.”

When the completely new York City Council passed the law — which applies only to the fast-food industry — there were questions about whether an organization could persuade 500 workers to contribute.

although Janice Fine, associate professor of labor studies at Rutgers University, said: “The fact which they’ve signed up 1,0 can be impressive. which’s a kind of initial proof of the concept.”

“When I speak to people in various other cities, they get genuinely interested,” she added. “They can imagine a law like which one where they are.”

The Fight for $15 campaign and also also also the Service Employees International Union, which has contributed tens of millions to which effort, pushed hard for the completely new York law. While the Fight for $15 has won major victories — getting Seattle, California and also also also completely new York State to enact laws calling for a $15 minimum wage — the movement has not achieved its goal of unionizing fast-food workers.

Fight for $15 leaders are concerned which even if they were to persuade workers at dozens of McDonald’s locations to vote to unionize, which would likely be extremely difficult to get McDonald’s or its franchise operators to agree to a contract.

Without a formal union, the Fight for $15 has been eager for a reliable way to finance a fast-food workers’ group. The completely new York City law, which was enacted in May and also also also took effect in late November, can be the first of its kind.

“What’s important about which law can be which provides for a way for fast-food workers to help sustain a nonprofit organization which’s dedicated to advocating for issues which members say can be important to them,” said Tsedeye Gebreselassie, chairwoman of Fast Food Justice’s board and also also also a senior staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project. For example, the group’s leaders said many members were interested in pushing for reduced transit fares for low-wage workers.

Fast Food Justice’s leaders say they trust to get 5,000 workers to contribute by the end of 2018, and also also also 10,000 by the end of 2020. (completely new York City has about 65,000 fast-food workers.) Contributions through 5,000 workers would likely mean revenue of more than $800,000 a year.

The Restaurant Law Center’s lawsuit asserts which the completely new York law and also also also Fast Food Justice are merely mechanisms to help the service employees’ union ultimately unionize fast-food restaurants. Its lawsuit also argues which the law should be overturned on the basis which the National Labor Relations Act already regulates labor organizations.

Fast Food Justice asserts which which can be not the type of labor organization regulated by federal law. which also argues which the completely new York law doesn’t violate restaurants’ First Amendment rights because the money being forwarded belongs to the workers and also also also not the restaurants. although the Restaurant Law Center says even having to process the payments violates employers’ free-speech rights.

Even though LaShawn Herbert said her employer, Shake Shack, treats her well, she can be a strong backer of the Fight for $15 and also also also Fast Food Justice. She noted which when the Fight for $15 began in completely new York City in late 2012, the minimum wage was $7.25 inside city. Since then, which has jumped to $13.50 for fast-food workers and also also also will rise to $15 at the end of which year.

“which’s come a long way,” she said. “The whole point can be help people so they can make enough take care of their family and also also also so they don’t have to be on welfare.”

Correction: January 9, 2018

An earlier type of which article, using information through Fast Food Justice, misstated Shantel Walker’s role with the organization. She can be a member of the organization, not a board member.

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