By COLIN STAUB
Nineteen food service workers at Afuri Ramen + Dumpling will soon vote on unionizing with the Restaurant Workers of Portland, a newly formed labor organization. The workers announced their campaign on Nov. 17, saying 80% of workers at Afuri’s downtown Portland location, 50 SW 3rd Ave., are ready to unionize.
Union supporters say they want wage increases and safety improvements. They also want to end alleged pay disparity based on gender, and alleged discrimination against transgender employees.
Workers requested voluntary recognition but also filed for a National Labor Relations Board election the next day. At press time, the company hadn’t recognized the union, and election details haven’t yet been set.
Afuri opened its first U.S. location in Portland in 2016 and now operates three other locations in the Portland area and one in Los Angeles. Internationally, Afuri has restaurants in Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, Portugal and Singapore.