Members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) union at the fast food chain Burgerville have gone on strike in Portland, Oregon. This report first appeared on It's Going Down.
On Wednesday, Burgerville workers across Portland walked off the job and launched the largest strike in the history of the Burgergville Workers Union (BVWU). We’re striking to end poverty wages at Burgerville, and to win the first ever fast food union contract in the U.S.
Workers went on strike–many of us for the first time–because we’re at a breaking point. For workers who make minimum wage or close to it, Burgerville’s “across-the-board” $1 raise amounts to just $0.25, come next July. For workers who make just a couple dollars above minimum wage, Burgerville’s raise might mean nothing at all. One worker was told that they already made “too much” money to receive the $1 that Burgerville claimed everyone would get. And workers at both ends of that pay scale continue to struggle to afford their bills, have to scrape together time to spend with their families, and live without savings.
If you want to support the strikers, please come out to our Spooky Week of Actions! Wednesday we’re holding a Halloween-themed picket at the Convention Center Burgerville from 5:00 to 7:30 PM — Halloween costumes are encouraged, and whichever one spooks the boss the most will win a prize!
Thursday we’ll be holding a vigil at 5:30 outside of Burgerville Corporate’s headquarters (109 West 17th Street, Vancouver, WA). At the vigil we’ll be holding a funeral to mourn the death of Burgerville’s conscience. Please wear black and be ready to say goodbye forever to Burgerville’s good reputation. After the vigil, you are welcome to join the union in camping outside Burgerville headquarters, so that in the morning we can greet corporate bright and early to see if they’re ready to negotiate. More details on these and other actions here.
Also please consider supporting strikers by donating to the BVWU’s Strike and Hardship Fund. We’ve gotten this far in no small part because of the generosity of our supporters, and we need you now more than ever as we’re so close to the finish line.