Portland’s grassroots indy unions announce coalition



Four Portland-based grassroots unions announced in May a new coalition to coordinate and resources among local labor organizations that aren’t affiliated with mainstream unions

The Coalition of Independent Unions includes Burgerville Workers Union, which represents roughly 100 workers at five Burgerville locations; Donut Workers United, which represents about 40 workers at the Old Town Voodoo Donuts; Restaurant Workers of Portland, which represents about 20 workers at Afuri Ramen and Dumpling in Downtown Portland (workers at the 802 SW Sixth Ave. location of Potbelly Sandwich were set to vote June 15 on whether to join); and Market of Choice Labor Union, which announced a union campaign this spring among 50 workers at the Market of Choice grocery store on Southeast Belmont St. 

The four unions have few financial and legal resources and no staff. Burgerville Workers Union is the only one of the four that has a collective bargaining agreement so far.

The coalition’s first action is a Trans Day of Solidarity, a rally 4 p.m. July 1 at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square “in opposition to trans genocide and capitalist oppression.”

It also plans to start a strike hardship fund, and share advice and resources, like a list of lawyers willing to work pro bono.


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