[5/27/2019] Portland, Oregon – In their latest union busting escalation, Chanticleer Holdings, the North Carolina based corporation that owns Little Big Burger (LBB), Hooters and Just Fresh, among other chains, created a fake website to slander union supporters and spread false information about the Little Big Union (LBU) and its affiliation with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The websites, unionsrevealed.com & iwwexposed.com, were discovered on May 20th when workers were messaged on their personal cell phones from an anonymous Google Voice number at first touting a pro union stance, but then devolving into insults to union members.
The website was registered on May 6, 2019, the day after LBB fired striking workers Ashley Reyes and Jules Jones. It appears to be created hastily judging by a littering of grammatical and spelling errors, and contains factually incorrect claims about IWW financial reports, Burgerville Workers Union (BVWU) contract negotiations, and most glaringly, the false accusation that Little Big Union members are paid an annual $14,000 by the IWW. Little Big Burger has been retaliating against rising union support by pushing the narrative of the union as a “third party”. Yet the real third party is Bullard Law Group, Portland’s notorious union busting law firm, hired by LBB in March 2019 to suppress union organizing. While Little Big Union runs on the energy and dedication of its volunteer union organizers, all of whom work at LBB for $12/hr and none of whom are paid for their union work, Bullard Law attorneys run on the fuel of anywhere form $400-$1200/hr from their corporate offices over in Beaverton, OR. LBU suspects that Bullard is the source behind two recent anti-union actions. Just recently New Season’s was forced to report that they paid their chosen law firm, Cruz & Associates $325,855 for their union busting campaign.
On May 20th, a group of workers from multiple stores received a group text from an anonymous Google Voice number. The person behind the text claimed at first to be a union supporter, but refused to identify themselves when asked their name or where they worked. The group text went out to the personal cell phone numbers of current and former LBB employees, raising suspicion that the number was created by someone who had access to employee files: a member of LBB management, or someone acting on management’s behalf. When pressed further, the anonymous caller accused union members of being paid organizers and lobbed insults at other workers on the thread, one of which included insulting a college student about her age. They referenced the websites unionsrevealed.com & iwwexposed.com, for workers to check out to get the real “facts.”
The websites originally named Ashley Reyes as a paid IWW organizer, listing her first and last name without her consent. Ashley worked at LBB for 1 ½ years before she was fired on May 5th following a work strike on May 3rd (https://pdx.eater.com/2019/5/7/18535807/little-big-burger-union-employee-fired-strike). The manager who fired her refused to give a reason for her termination and threatened her with a trespassing order. The website elaborates at length on the alleged corruption and misrepresentation within the Little Big Union and of the labor movement in general. The escalation in anti-union messaging coincides with LBB’s collaboration with Bullard Law Group. Now, Chanticleer is acting with the help of Bullard Law to infiltrate LBB employee spaces to discourage union activity, fire union supporters (five, and counting), create a fake website, and harass workers on their cell phones.
Little Big Union is strong because it cannot be bought. We continue to work collectively to expand our workplace rights. We work at a boutique fast food restaurant. But don’t be fooled: it is not local, not friendly, and not fair to its employees. Stand with us as we demand to be treated with dignity by our employer.