[5/17/2019] Portland, Oregon — On May 17th, Little Big Union (LBU) organized a two-hour long picket in front of the Northwest 23rd Little Big Burger (LBB) store. This most recent effort has been part of a series of actions in the month of May aiming to draw attention to the retaliations that have transpired after two LBU workers were fired for walking away from unsafe working conditions, which is within their legal rights.
Since the May 3rd walk-off, a handful of other Little Big Union workers at stores scattered around Portland have been fired under dubious pretenses in what is becoming a clear pattern of union-busting. Lily Aguilar, a worker at the Alberta location, was fired after raising similar concerns of understaffing and management negligence in a company group chat. Chase Heath, a 23rd worker, missed a shift the morning after breaking his thumb, upper management had him work the busy weekend without mention before firing him the following week.
“They warmly accept me in the workplace when I’m picking up hours for them and covering shifts. But the second I and my co-workers say we don’t like the way we’re being treated they fire me and threaten to file a trespass order,” says Ashley Reyes, a two year long employee of Little Big Burger recently fired for exercising her rights to a safe working environment.
On top of the reoccuring pickets of LBB locations, Little Big Union has taken legal action by filing a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
With this combination of direct action and legal filings, Little Big Union is sending a specific message to corporate: rehire Ashley Reyes and Jules Jones – the two workers fired for the walk-off – with back pay for the lost wages they incurred, stop union-busting – especially in the most costly ways to the livelihoods of your workers, and agree to neutrality towards your union.
“We want corporate and Bullard Law to know that they are breaking the law and that workers and our communities have our backs when bullies union bust. Portland is a union town, and solidarity always beats negativity,” says Ashley Reyes.