Union power obvious after just one month

[4/14/2019] Friends and fellow workers, It’s us from the Little Big Union,

Just one month ago, on a sunny Saturday we announced our existence to the public with a beautiful celebration at the Northwest 23rd store. Hundreds of Little Big Burger workers, community members, neighbors, and activists came out shouting messages of positivity and support for those of us working hard to feed and serve our communities. Messages like, a living wage, healthcare, paid-parental leave, reliable schedules, sick and vacation time, and safe workplaces for all of Portland’s workers from fast-food, retail, warehouses, and beyond. We read aloud a letter to corporate management with our vision for a better Little Big Burger and respect for those of us who work day in and day out cooking, bussing, and serving. While management did not choose to recognize the overwhelming majority of workers’ desire to unionize, we demonstrated what kind of power we have when we come together, speak up, and act for a better workplace.

After our demonstration, corporate bought gloves for 23rd workers who had been cutting their hands while cleaning the hood vents. After months of complaining about a faulty bread grill stand that had been splashing hot oil on workers, we received a brand new one. In fact, broken and faulty equipment across several stores have finally been paid attention to and starting to get fixed. After years of mysteriously unstocked paid sick leave forms, we made our own and informed workers of their right to fully compensated sick time. And what do you know management printed out and restocked the forms at multiple locations. After corporate decided to tear down pro-union posters in our break areas (including years worth of worker & customer drawings and concert announcements at some), workers and our community spoke up and addressed the unfair and potentially unlawful practice to demand they don’t censure us. Corporate folded and decided to “clarify” their solicitation policy and let us post. Because of union power and workers coming together to write a letter to management, the Northwest 23rd location of Little Big Burger gets their schedules over a week in advance in compliance with state scheduling law. And finally our wonderful supportive customers have continuously left big tips in support of union burger workers as we fight together for a better world.

We’re the ones who make the food now’s the time that we eat too! Onward we go, the Little Big Burger workers will continue to fight for our voices to be heard and for our conditions to be bettered. We believe fast-food is a job that deserves dignity, respect, and stability like any other job.

There is power in a union. There is power in us all. We cook, we bus, we serve, we’re union!

Please reach out to us with any follow up questions and let’s build a better workplace together:
together@littlebigunion.org