The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

Tension over workers’ rights prompts action

Phil Roeder
Unfair working conditions and pay led workers to speak out and protest against these problems.

Due to California’s inflation rates increasing, there has been an uptick in work and labor conflicts, causing strikes, accusations of unfair wages, and issues for workers and businesses.

Early 2023, California Assembly Bill 1228 was proposed to raise the minimum wages of fast food workers to $20 an hour for larger franchises that have 60 or more nationwide locations. This proposal sparked different reactions from different working groups.

“Working in a fast food restaurant is really really difficult,” science teacher and teacher union member Alton Lee said. “It’s just a nice thing to pay more if their jobs are very difficult.”

The minimum wage increase within these corporations all occur in California where living rates are one of the highest in the United States.

“Over the last few years, what we’ve seen is that the cost of living just gets higher and higher,” Lee stated. “Even 20 bucks an hour is still going to be really tough on people.”

Despite the support for raising the minimum wage, smaller businesses and the economy may be in danger as it continues to rise. 

“It may hurt small businesses [and customers] in the long run,” food and beverage franchise owner Michelle Wu said. “If you can get $20 an hour at McDonalds or Starbucks, why would you apply to a mom-and-pop or a smaller chain store?”

With conflict occurring in many industries, large strikes such as the SAG-AFTRA Hollywood Strike and the United Auto Workers Strike have been the topic of big news. The ongoing strikes have had large impacts on consumers and businesses by causing delays in products, loss of money, and even price increases. 

“If people are striking, there’s something that they’re really not getting, and it’s not okay,” Lee said. “I generally think that if people are at that stage, we’ve got to support that.”

The increase in tension between labor laws in California creates many problems for businesses and corporations. People have to remember that standing up to unfair treatment and low pay is always something workers do. 

“California’s living standards are higher,” Wu stated. “You want to make sure that all the big companies, all the franchise businesses take care of their employees.” 

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About the Contributor
Nathan Chen
Nathan Chen, Beat Editor
Nathan Chen is a freshman and first-year journalist. He enjoys writing about world and political news. He hopes to improve his writing skills and learn new ideas through writing about them. In his free time, he enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and spending time with family.

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