Workers at SE 92nd & Powell location opt for IWW representation
VANCOUVER, Wash. (April 23, 2018) – Workers today voted in favor of joining a union at Burgerville’s Store #41 located at 3504 SE 92nd Ave. in Portland, Ore. The election was held by secret ballot on Sunday, April 22 and Monday, April 23 inside the restaurant and was overseen by facilitators from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
Employees at the single store were able to cast a vote in favor or against joining the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), Portland Chapter, d/b/a Burgerville Workers Union. The election was the first to be authorized by the NLRB after a two-year organizing drive. The IWW has previously led unsuccessful campaigns to unionize a Starbucks store in New York City, as well as a Jimmy John’s store in Minneapolis.
“Employees at Burgerville Store #41 have voted to unionize in the fair and free election overseen by the NLRB. Our employees have spoken, we hear them, and we support their decision. We will navigate this new working relationship together in a positive, productive way and bargain in good faith with the union at Burgerville Store #41,” said Beth Brewer, Senior VP of Operations for Burgerville. “We are proud of our relationship with our coworkers, and we will continue to provide a fair, positive work environment for all.”
“Burgerville has always been a leader in the fast-food industry, being the first regional chain to offer cage-free eggs, 100 percent antibiotic-free and hormone-free proteins, and off-set 100 percent of our energy use with renewable wind credits, while also supporting 989 Northwest family farms and ranches. With the same pioneering spirit that Burgerville is known for, we are ready to support the nation’s first unionized fast-food store.”
On average, current Burgerville employees are paid approximately 20 percent more than the industry standard, and they are offered healthcare starting at $35/month, with 90 percent of costs covered. Turnover is low, and the average tenure of a Burgerville employee is 29 months—26 percent longer than the industry average. Additional benefits include paid vacation and sick leave, free life insurance, educational assistance, discounted meals, and advancement opportunities. In 2017, internal candidates filled 80 percent of all open management positions.
The IWW lists a $5 raise, affordable health care and free child care among its desired provisions for Burgerville workers.
“For 57 years Burgerville has been building relationships with team members, farmers, ranchers and customers,” Brewer added. “Business and community will always change; our collective commitment is to ‘Serve with Love.’”
Established in 1961, Burgerville, headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, is an innovative and industry-leading restaurant company with 42 locations throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. Over 1,500 employees strong, the hometown favorite brings guests seasonal, local food from 989 Northwest family farms and ranches. Burgerville is built on a tradition based in its mission to “Serve with Love.” At Burgerville, the commitment to fresh, local and sustainable values is about helping people and communities thrive.