PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Tweeting, “On strike shut ’em down Portland is a union town,” unionized Burgerville workers announced they were officially on strike.
Workers at the Burgerville locations in the Montavilla neighborhood, at SE 92nd and Powell and at the Convention Center walked off the job Wednesday morning “and will remain on strike until they’ve sufficiently demonstrated their strength to the company,” union officials said in a statement.
The union added the company’s proposal “amounts to the legally mandated minimum wage increase a mere six months early.”
On Saturday, the Burgerville Workers Union announced a strike was “imminent.”
In response, Burgerville officials said, “Wages remain an area of disagreement. The union originally asked for a $5/hour increase in hourly wages for unionized workers only, which at the time would have brought starting wages to $17/hour at the five unionized Burgerville restaurants. This would have been a 36% increase for approximately 12% of the workforce. This week, Burgerville announced taking out a $3 million loan to increase wages for all crew members at all restaurants by $1/hour. …”
Read both Burgerville and the Union’s full statements below
Wage negotiations have been ongoing for the past 18 months. After meeting for 2 days last week, the union chose to walk out.
The $1 raise puts Oregon employees 6 months ahead of the state-mandated minimum-wage increase. However, the union said this would only keep workers in poverty.
The union came out with a statement on Saturday, saying, “We want an agreement, and as soon as corporate is ready to have a meaningful conversation about wages, we’ll return to the bargaining table.”
KOIN 6 News will have more information as soon as possible.