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Burgerville, workers union reach tentative contract

The contract establishes wages above Oregon, Washington state minimums, provides tipping for workers and adds extended sick leave, vacation and paid parental leave.
Credit: KGW

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Vancouver-based fast food chain Burgerville announced a tentative agreement with unionized employees at five of the company's stores.

The agreement is the country's first union contract for a fast food company, according to Burgerville, and still needs approval by union members and company leadership.

The contract establishes wages above the Oregon and Washington state minimums, provides tipping for workers and adds extended sick leave, vacation and paid parental leave to company benefits.

“I am so pleased to reach an agreement that serves Burgerville employees, who are the heart of this company,” CEO Jill Taylor said in a statement. “The vision we hold is for the Pacific Northwest to be the healthiest region on the planet, and we will keep investing in Burgerville employees, the communities we serve, and the region’s farmers and ranchers as one team.”

Burgerville began increasing worker wages above the two state's minimums in 2019, and its current starting wage is $14.25 companywide, it said. The company also introduced tipping that year.

The contract was negotiated between management and the Burgerville Workers Union over a period of 51 sessions since June 2018, the company said. While the union does not restaurant all company locations, the contract would apply to all employees.

The ratification should conclude by the end of the year, the company's announcement said.

Burgerville Workers Union organizer Mark Medina on Twitter called the agreement a result of more than three years of bargain as well as seven strikes, a boycott campaign and "hundreds of workplace actions."

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