LOS ANGELES – A group that advocates for better pay, benefits, and working conditions for fast food workers has settled legal action it took against the city to obtain uncensored communications documenting alleged cooperation between the Los Angeles Police Department and the McDonald’s restaurant chain in quelling worker protests.
The National Fast Food Workers Union, which touts the Fight for $15 campaign for a higher hourly wage, brought the petition on March 21 in Los Angeles Superior Court, urging a judge to release the information fully and uncensored through the California Public Records Act unless there are qualified exceptions.
Lawyers for the group filed court papers on Dec. 9 with Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff stating that the case was resolved. No terms were divulged.
The petition alleged that the city had “sought to shield from public disclosure the efforts of McDonald’s to enlist the LAPD in opposing these lawful protests.”
“The public has a significant interest in understanding the extent of coordination between the police and McDonald’s to monitor and respond to lawful protest activity,” the petition stated.
The city and the LAPD produced a small amount of the emails first requested in June 2021 but edited them so extensively that the petitioners and the public could no fully understand “how McDonald’s and the LAPD coordinated their efforts to oppose fast food worker protests,” according to the NFFWU court papers.
The city and LAPD had asserted that fully revealing the department’s communications with McDonald’s “would not serve the public interest,” according to the petition.
In court papers filed May 6, lawyers for the City Attorney’s Office generally denied the petitioner’s allegations.