Friday, November 26, 2021
Nov. 26, 2021

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Vancouver-based Burgerville, union reach tentative agreement

Next steps include union member ratification; deal would increase wages for hourly employees

By , Columbian Innovation Editor

Vancouver-based Burgerville USA announced Friday that it has come to an agreement on a first contract with a labor union that represents employees at some of its Oregon locations. 

Terms of the contract — which apply to all Burgerville employees, union or nonunion — include wage increases for all hourly employees until the starting wage is $15. Burgerville’s starting wage is currently $14.25. The agreement also ensures tipping in all restaurants, which gives an average increase of more than $2 an hour to hourly employees’ income. 

The company began both practices in 2019.

Also, the contract includes improved working conditions, including expanded sick leave, vacation benefits and paid parental leave, according to a news release from Burgerville on Friday.

The contract awaits union member ratification and Burgerville leadership approval.

The Burgerville Workers Union was certified in 2016. Since then, it has held 51 negotiation sessions with the company. During that time, the union went on strike in October 2019 and picketed the Vancouver headquarters, demanding better wages and benefits.

The union represents five Oregon Burgerville locations’ employees out of 40 total locations. None of the unionized locations are in Clark County.

“Burgerville has always valued employees and invested in their well-being. As the first in the fast food restaurant industry to offer affordable health care to part-time employees in 2006, it’s no surprise to be the first with a union contract. What a great way to celebrate our 60th birthday year. I hope the agreement will be ratified quickly and a contract signed before the end of the year,” Burgerville CEO Jill Taylor said in a news release.

“Yesterday me and union bargaining team reached a tentative agreement with BV on the only union contract in the fast food industry, after 3 years and 5 months of bargaining. Now workers will vote up or down on the contract or an escalation against the employer,” wrote Mark Medina, union organizer for the membership of the Burgerville Workers Union, in a Twitter post.

A handful of Burgerville locations are temporarily closed due to supply chain and pandemic-related issues, including three in Vancouver.

Burgerville is working to reopen them by the end of the year, the company told The Columbian on Friday.