Issued October 11, 2015
Mary Kay Henry, International President of the Service Employees International Union, issued the following statement regarding Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on the California Small Business Investment Protection Act (AB 525):
Hundreds of thousands of workers around the globe have mobilized to demand better wages and working conditions in the fast-food and other low-wage industries as part of the Fight for $15 and a union. Today, their fight got a little bit easier because SEIU and fast-food workers, together with small business owners of corporate franchises like McDonald’s, won a significant victory for fairness.
The California Small Business Investment Protection Act ends some of the worst abuses in the franchising system by leveling the playing field between large, corporate franchisors and the men and women who operate and are employed in the state’s nearly 83,000 franchised enterprises.
Franchisees often pour everything they have into building their businesses. The governor’s signature today means that these small-business owners should no longer fear a franchisor’s whim will cost them their livelihoods or the money and sweat they’ve invested.
This bill won’t solve all the problems in the corporate-dominated franchise sector, but it is a critical step forward and it signals that when workers and small businesses join together, we can force multinational corporations to take a step back and treat us more fairly. That’s why SEIU and fast-food workers have been proud to fight alongside franchised small business owners to win this historic victory.