Fast food store employees vote for union – first in the country

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Portland. Oregon. Of course.

For the first time ever, a fast food store has unionized following an NLRB election. On April 23 workers at Burgerville voted 18-4 in favor of being represented by Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) [often known as Wobblies], Portland Chapter, d/b/a Burgerville Workers Union.

So now the question is whether this is a flash in the pan or the opening of nation-wide floodgates.

Mark Medina, a worker at the store, said, “Burgerville leaves a lot of us workers poor, hungry, and homeless. “With the company’s use of e-verify, some of us even face possible deportation.”

“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.” "With the same pioneering spirit that Burgerville is known for, we are ready to support the nation’s first unionized fast-food store.”

Burgerville is a regional chain, operating in Oregon and Southwest Washington.