Contributors to Portland Jobs with Justice named Burgerville “Scrooge of the Year” for 2019. The dishonor—part of the group’s annual fundraising holiday party—is named for Ebenezer Scrooge, the cold-hearted miser at the heart of Charles Dickens’ novella “A Christmas Carol.” Supporters of the local workers’ rights group donate, and each dollar buys a vote. This year’s event raised over $5,000.
Burgerville has twice been nominated for Scrooge of the Year, but this year, the fast food chain won the most votes for its record of firing union supporters and stonewalling union negotiations. Workers at five of the chain’s locations have voted to unionize as an affiliate of Industrial Workers of the World, but negotiations over a first contract have now dragged on for more than 18 months without resolution.
At the Dec. 14 party, a worker from Burgerville’s Hawthorne store talked about how hard it is to live a dignified life while earning minimum wage.
“In the face of their public marketing about ‘serving with love,’ that made them stand out,” Portland Jobs with Justice Executive Director Will Layng told the Labor Press.