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News / Business / Clark County Business

Vancouver-based Burgerville adds holiday pay for employees

Move comes days after flare-up in union negotiations

By Anthony Macuk, Columbian business reporter
Published: August 14, 2019, 5:43pm
2 Photos
A sign greets customers at the Burgerville restaurant along Southeast McGillivray Boulevard.
A sign greets customers at the Burgerville restaurant along Southeast McGillivray Boulevard. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Vancouver-based fast food chain Burgerville announced Wednesday that it will implement new holiday pay rates for employees at its 41 restaurants.

Beginning Labor Day, Sept. 2, Burgerville staff who work on Labor Day, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day and the Fourth of July will receive 1.5 times their usual pay rate, the company said in a press release. The holiday pay rate also applies on National Cheeseburger Day, which is Sept. 18.

Employees who work on Thanksgiving Eve or Christmas Eve will receive double pay, and employees at the chain’s Portland International Airport location will now receive double pay for working on Thanksgiving and Christmas instead of the previous standard of 1.5 times pay. All other Burgerville locations are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The move comes one week after the Burgerville Workers Union announced that it had filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against Burgerville, accusing the company of bad-faith bargaining.

The union is seeking $5-per-hour raises for hourly employees but in a Facebook post wrote that Burgerville’s most recent proposal was a 13-cent raise. Company and union representatives were scheduled to meet for another bargaining session on Aug. 7, according to the union’s Facebook page, but the union said Burgerville made a last-second request to delay the meeting.

According to the union, the company said it wanted to delay the meeting because the union had planned to strike the same day — although a Burgerville employee who spoke to the Portland Mercury last week denied that a strike had been planned for that day.

Workers at three Portland-area Burgerville locations did stage a one-day strike on Friday, which the union described as a protest against the company’s tactics including the bargaining session delay.

Burgerville’s press release also noted that the company launched a new program in July allowing customers to tip employees. The system should be operational in all Burgerville locations by the end of September, the company said.

Burgerville also said it has upgraded its cybersecurity practices following a hack of its systems that was discovered last year. The company said it has installed a new point-of-sale system and hired a security monitoring service for its network.

Anthony Macuk: 360-735-4547; anthony.macuk@columbian.com; twitter.com/anthonymacuk

Columbian business reporter