File #: Res 2040-2013    Version: * Name: Fast food restaurants to pay their workers a family-sustaining wage.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Civil Service and Labor
On agenda: 11/26/2013
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon fast food restaurants to pay their workers a family-sustaining wage.
Sponsors: Brad S. Lander, Gale A. Brewer, Margaret S. Chin, Letitia James, G. Oliver Koppell, Rosie Mendez, Donovan J. Richards, Deborah L. Rose
Council Member Sponsors: 8
Res. No. 2040
Resolution calling upon fast food restaurants to pay their workers a family-sustaining wage.
By Council Members Lander, Brewer, Chin, James, Koppell, Mendez, Richards and Rose
Whereas, According to the 2012 Quick Service Restaurants ranking of fast food restaurants, McDonald's, Subway, Starbucks, Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, Dunkin' Donuts, Pizza Hut, KFC and Chick-Fil-A are the nation's top earners; and
Whereas, In 2008, an article in the American Journal of Public Health noted that in New York City there were over 1,625 fast food restaurants; and
Whereas, According to New York Communities for Change, there are over 50,000 fast food workers in New York City; and
Whereas, According to Fast Food Forward, a group that seeks to highlight the wage related issues of the fast food restaurant workers, the average annual salary for a fast food worker in New York City is $11,000; and
Whereas, Many of these fast food workers are adults in full time positions seeking to support their families with the wages earned from their fast food jobs; and
Whereas, According to a collaborative report released in 2005 by the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center, the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School and the Community Service Society, there are social costs to low wage jobs; and
Whereas, According to the report, low wage workers in the food industry lack job security which leads to an increased reliance on unemployment insurance and social assistance programs such as welfare, housing subsidies and child care subsidies; and
Whereas, These programs are administered by local, state and federal governments but funded by tax payer dollars; and
Whereas, In 2004, the University of California, Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education released a study estimating that California taxpayers pay $10 billion annually in hidden costs associated with wages that perpetuate poverty earned by 2 million families; and
Whereas, The study found that in California, the majority of the public assistance (over 25 percent or $5.7 billion) that went to working families was received by families whose workers were earning less than $8 per hour; and
Whereas, The study further asserted that by creating conditions that essentially force workers to rely on and participate in social programs rather than providing essential benefits, fast food restaurants are, in effect, receiving an indirect public subsidy while placing profits over the livelihood of their workforce; and
Whereas, The corporations that own many of these fast food restaurants which employ these workers continue to see revenue growth and in some cases are opening more locations in New York City; and
Whereas, If operators of fast food restaurants paid their workers a family sustaining wage that would allow them to support their families without relying on public benefit programs, the monies used to fund those programs could be reallocated to programs that combat issues such as obesity; now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon fast food restaurants to pay their workers a family-sustaining wage.
LS# 4485