There’s another fast food union in town. Almost a year after Burgerville workers voted to become the first federally recognized fast food union in the nation, employees of the local chain Little Big Burger announced the formation of their union Saturday with a rally outside the location on NW 23rd and Lovejoy, Willamette Week first reported.
The Little Big Union is fighting for $5 raises for employees, benefits, paid sick leave, and fair scheduling practices. The union has members in various Portland Little Big Burger locations, though it seems the 23rd and Lovejoy store has the strongest union footing. To become federally recognized, the union needs Little Big Burger’s management and ownership to voluntarily recognize its existence, or the union will have to hold an election with the National Labor Relations Board.
Although there hasn’t been a public comment from Little Big Burger on Facebook or its website, union members posted on their Facebook page saying management asked members at the 23rd and Lovejoy location if there was “anything they can fix right now.” The union members asked for gloves, to keep them from cutting their hands on vents they take down at night. Management delivered the gloves that day.
Founded by Katie Poppe (Blue Star Donuts) and Micah Camden (Super Deluxe) in 2010, Little Big Burger has locations in four states, including 12 in the greater Portland area. Little Big Burger is now owned by Chanticleer Holdings, a holding company with investments in restaurants like Hooter’s.
The Little Big Union is a part of a larger nationwide push for more food service unions, though Portland has been a key player in the fight for fast food worker unions. Eater has reached out to Little Big Burger and the Little Big Union for comment. Stay tuned for more from the Little Big Union.
Updated March 18, 2019, 4:02 p.m.: This story has been updated to clarify Chanticleer Holdings’ relationship with Hooter’s.
• Little Big Burger [Official]
• Little Big Union [Facebook]
• Little Big Burger [Facebook]
• Workers at Little Big Burger Form Union, Joining Portland Fast-Food Labor Drive [Willamette Week]
• Burgerville Workers Just Became the First Officially Recognized Fast-Food Union [EPDX]
• For Some Food-Service Workers, Unions Are Finally Gaining Steam [Eater]
• Previous Little Big Burger coverage [EPDX]