Rios Files Complaint for SEIU Alleging Fast Food Industry Coalition is Willfully Misleading Voters

California State Seal Sacramanto, California, Usa

Olson Remcho’s Richard Rios filed a complaint with California state officials on October 27 on behalf of the Service Employees International Union California (SEIU) alleging that a fast-food industry coalition is violating state election rules in its attempt to repeal the Fast Food Recovery Act (AB257). which was signed into law in September and will increase protections for fast food workers. (See California union alleges that fast-food effort to block new labor law is ‘willfully misleading voters’, Los Angeles Times, October 27, 2022.)

The complaint alleges that the coalition’s signature-gathering campaign, which seeks to qualify the referendum for the November 2024 ballot, is “willfully misleading voters” by hiring paid petition circulators who ask voters to sign the petition under the false pretense that the referendum will raise the minimum wage for fast food workers.  As Rios writes in the complaint, “The campaign literature, materials and other messaging clearly demonstrate an effort to persuade voters to sign a petition based on false and misleading information.”  

The campaign literature . . . clearly demonstrates an effort to persuade voters to sign a petition based on false and misleading information.

According to the SEIU, “The FAST Recovery Act is the culmination of years of worker organizing across the state that immigrants and people of color have led. AB 257 gives workers the power to tackle systemic economic and racial justice issues that have plagued the fast-food industry because they will be at the table crafting the solutions they want to see. By passing AB 257 – the FAST Recovery Act, California will create a sector council where workers, fast-food employers, and government officials work together to craft common-sense solutions to the issues that have long plagued the industry. Frontline workers are best-positioned to help propose and implement solutions to the daily problems they face on the job. The FAST Recovery Act brings workers to the table and gives them a chance to rewrite the rules so that rules keep them safe.”  (It’s the final push for a FAST Recovery, August 16, 2022.)