You may recall that back in February the Alberta Co-op put out a call for others to join us in showing their solidarity with the Burgerville Worker’s Union (read more here). We received an amazing response and sent all of the pledge cards and proceeds we received from button sales their way. In the months since, the workers at the 92nd and Powell Burgerville Store won their NLRB election and became the first federally recognized fast food union in U.S. History!
But our work is not done yet. Recently, we received the following update from the Burgerville Worker’s Union:
We’ve really appreciated the various ways in which the Alberta Co-op has supported us in the past, from your endorsement to your willingness to participate in the boycott of Burgerville, and we’re reaching out today to brief you on the latest from within our campaign, in the hopes you can pass this information on to your networks. Community support been critical to our successive wins these last several months, and without you behind us at every step we would not have been able to accomplish all that we have.
Since we filed for elections with the NLRB and won with overwhelming majorities at 2 locations this spring, we’ve been engaged in negotiations with Burgerville for our first contract. Negotiations have been tough as Burgerville has met even our simplest proposals with resistance, but we’re more determined than ever to continue putting pressure on the company to do right by their workers.
While Burgerville promised in contract negotiations to work on a policy about workplace expression and button usage in cooperation with the union, they have since released a new Grooming Policy banning wearing buttons without union input. This policy came after workers at the 82nd and Glisan location were sent home for wearing pins expressing support for immigrant workers and the movement for black lives. This move is not only in poor taste, but also is an unlawful labor practice, as it constitutes a unilateral change in working conditions during bargaining.
To help prevent a backslide in workplace rights, we’re calling on community support across the board to send a clear message to Burgerville: the public at large demands that any policy on buttons is created alongside the union. We ask that you mobilize your supporters and/or workers to call upon Burgerville to rescind their new policy and work with the BVWU at the bargaining table. This can take place on the company’s Facebook page, or in the company’s anti-union PR campaign email inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[sample script] Dear Burgerville,
We see what you’re doing, and demand better of you. Stand on the right side of history and support worker free expression, stop firing union supporters, bargain in good faith, become a sanctuary employer, and rescind any and all anti-worker/anti-immigrant/ant
We encourage you to include your own messaging to the company as well, adding an appeal to the values that you hold most dear. Thank you for the support.
Lastly, we want to know how we can strengthen our partnership. Please feel free to contact us in our Facebook inbox or at burgervilleworkersunion@gmail.