California union alleges that fast-food effort to block new labor law is ‘willfully misleading voters’
(Photo: Reuters/Richard Drew)Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa have now joined the so-called ‘Blue Wave’ that is expected to sweep across California, possibly taking the Golden State from Democratic to Republican control.
This morning, the California Labor Federation (CLF) notified California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and his staff that it has begun a lawsuit against the California Association of Retailers (CAR), arguing that the $15-an-hour minimum wage for tipped employees, which passed in November of this year, violates the state’s Right to Work laws and the California Labor Code.
The Labor Federation’s move is just the latest sign that the fight over the minimum wage and its impacts may be approaching a tipping point in California. On March 1, a grassroots group made national headlines for protesting the newly proposed $10-an-hour minimum wage in New York, which would put the city on the cusp of becoming the first state to raise its minimum wage.
The Labor Federation has been in contact with the state’s labor commissioner, James Gomez, who said that he has not yet received the lawsuit.
“We are reviewing it very closely and are in discussions with labor on how to respond,” Gomez said in an email to the LA Times.
“Workers of all different kinds – from all different walks of life – have worked hard for years to get us to this point,” said CLF spokesman Eric Katz.
“It makes no sense to think we would sit down and agree to a law that we know will not raise the minimum wage. And it would be wrong to think that California’s labor laws can be bargained away just because some out-of-state businessman or labor group can’t afford to pay minimum wage workers,” Katz said. “The California Labor Federation and our members deserve a fair say in how the minimum wage is calculated, how it’s increased or decreased. We strongly oppose attempts to use California’s Right to Work law to weaken that right.”
According to the Labor Federation, CAR representatives sent a letter to officials in California and Minnesota this month, claiming that the measure in Minnesota is “willfully misleading voters.”
The union is asking for a court order that will order CAR to