Workers at Portland burger chain Little Big Burger voted 41 to 29 to stay non-union in a July 23 election that the company asked the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold.
The vote came after as many as nine union supporters were fired by the company in the weeks and months after all-volunteer Little Big Union went public March 16. The fired workers included Cameron Crowell, who we quoted in our June 21 issue.
Little Big Burger is owned by Chanticleer Holdings, a publicly traded North Carolina company which owns Hooters and several other restaurant chains. Little Big Union is affiliated with Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).
Crowell, a two-year employee at the company’s Northwest 23rd location, says as he arrived at work July 10, waiting for him outside the store were two district managers and Chanticleer Holdings president Fred Glick, who was wearing a shirt that said “spark joy.” In full view of customers and co-workers, district manager Emma Lindell told Crowell he was fired for having failed to refill napkins and fry sauce containers on a closing shift two days prior. She also told him he was banned for life from all Little Big Burger locations and would face legal repercussions if he returned. The firing came two days after Crowell visited four other Little Big Burger stores to talk with fellow workers about the upcoming union vote.
The union has filed NLRB charges protesting the firings.
In the wake of the election loss, union supporters said Little Big Union will continue organizing in the stores.
HELP THE FIRED UNIONISTS: Give to Little Big Union’s hardship fund.