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A fast food first: SE Portland Burgerville unionizes

Multnomah County

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The first federally recognized fast food-workers union is coming to Portland. 

On Monday, in a secret election overseen by the National Labor Relations Board over the last two days, workers at the Burgerville on Southeast 92nd Avenue voted to unionize by a final count of 18-4. 

Six Burgerville restaurants have declared union, but the Southeast Portland location is the first to complete the unionization process through the NLRB.

Establishing a union, according to Burgerville worker Mark Medina, is historic. 

“Burgerville workers are at the forefront of their own movement, proving to everyone that we can change our lives and our world for the better,” Medina said.

Burgerville confirmed the news in a press release of their own. 

“Our employees have spoken, we hear them, and we support their decision,” said Beth Brewer, Senior VP of Operations for Burgerville. “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. We are proud of our relationship with our coworkers, and we will continue to provide a fair, positive work environment for all.”

The workers union said they’ll enter contract negotiations with Burgerville soon.

The Southeast Portland location might not be the only Burgerville to unionize. Workers at the Gladstone location have also filed for a union election, though the date hasn’t been determined. 

“Much love and many congratulations to workers at 92nd and Powell,” said Dylan Fitzwater, a worker at the Gladstone Burgerville, in the workers union press release. “As we face down retaliation at Gladstone for organizing our own election, we know they’ll have our backs.”

The union said a company boycott, instituted during a three-day strike in February, will stay in place until a contract has been signed between them and Burgerville. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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