PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After an unsuccessful round of negotiations with Burgerville Corporate on Friday, the Burgerville Workers Union has announced that a strike is “imminent.”
Wage negotiations have been ongoing for the past 18 months. After meeting for 2 days this week, the union chose to walk out. The union reportedly asked for a $5 hourly increase for unionized workers, but Burgerville announced they have taken out a $3 million load to increase wages for all employees by $1 per hour.
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.”
They announced a strike will come on an “undisclosed date” in the upcoming week, initiating what will be the largest strike in the union’s history.
After the bargaining meetings, Burgerville CEO Jill Taylor released the following statement:
“Burgerville cares about all of our employees, union and non-union. We evaluated all proposals seriously, and we were pleased to arrive at a wage increase for all workers. Our employees are at the heart of Burgerville. We have been working to better meet their needs. The Burgerville Workers Union has helped us see some of those needs. Our intention is to make the Pacific Northwest the healthiest region on the planet. We would love the union’s help to achieve that.”
Union members marched from the Hawthorne Bridge to the Hawthorn Burgerville location on Saturday where they picketed outside of the business from roughly 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
KOIN 6 News will continue to cover this story as it develops.