Working for Food Justice: Announcing the BVWU

Saturday, May 14

6:00pm at People’s Food Co-op
(3029 SE 21st Ave, Portland OR)

* Facebook event page *

More information about this public event can be found on the Burgerville Workers Union website.

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Burgerville Workers Unite!

Burgerville Workers Union

Portland, OR – In a historic move, workers at Portland-area fast food chain Burgerville announced at a rally in the Clinton Street Theater on April 26th that they were forming a union, the Burgerville Workers Union, in affiliation with the Portland branch of the IWW. They marched from the theater to the Burgerville location at Southeast 26th and Clinton to present their demands:

  • an immediate $5 an hour raise
  • affordable, quality healthcare
  • a safe and healthy workplace
  • fair and consistent scheduling with ample notice
  • a supportive, sustainable workplace including paid maternity/paternity leave
  • free childcare and transportation stipends

A typical Burgerville worker makes only $9.60 an hour, and is typically scheduled just 26 hours a week, just under the 30 hours a week which would make them eligible to receive benefits. That equals out to about $990 a month before taxes. To put that into perspective, the average apartment rent in Portland is $1,275 a month for a one bedroom apartment, and most apartment complexes require prospective tenants income to exceed 3 times the amount of the rent.

“Most people can’t even afford to have an apartment. In Portland, everyone knows that the cost of living is insane. It basically took me a second job to be able to have a place of my own. I couldn’t afford it with what Burgerville pays me,” said Greg, Burgerville worker and union member.

Other workers cited problems with management’s uncaring attitude toward their employees: “I need to be able to take a sick day without fear of retaliation,” stated Robert, a Burgerville worker at the Powell location.

The workers forming the Burgerville Workers Union represent a cross-section of the community – young people, seniors, mothers, fathers, students, and grandparents. They put passion into their work, and want to improve their workplaces for themselves, their co-workers, and the community.

“We’re trying to make Burgerville a better place – I just want to be able to do my job and be paid a living wage. This is going to make Burgerville better, by having happy employees that work hard and are proud of their jobs” said Debbie, Burgerville Worker Union member.

The Burgerville Workers Union is supported by the Portland IWW and endorsed by a coalition of local unions and community groups, including ILWU Local 5, IATSE Local 28, SEIU Local 49, Portland Association of Teachers, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Portland Solidarity Network (PDXSol), Portland Jobs with Justice, Blue Heron Collective (Reed College), Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, Alberta Cooperative Grocery Collective Management, Hella 503 Collective, Marilyn Buck Abolitionist Collective and People’s Food Co-op.

To lend your support and solidarity, check out the Burgerville Workers Union website.

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Burgerville Workers Union has gone public!

Learn more about the Burgerville Workers Union, and how you can get involved.

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WORKER WEDNESDAY – March 30!

Our monthly Worker Wednesday event is coming up on Wednesday, March 30! This is an opportunity to meet some Wobblies and other workers, drink beer OR root beer, talk about campaigns & union stuff, and get to know each other. Children are welcome until 9:00pm, so no need to call the sitter.

We’ll hold the fort at the Lucky Lab Brew Pub (SE 9th & Hawthorne) from 6 to 10pm. We’ll see you there!

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Donate to the Portland I.W.W.

Hardship Fund:
A fund to help support fellow workers fired for organizing on the job.

Organizing Fund:
A donation to the Organizing Fund helps support our organizing campaigns and training program.
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