Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Burgerville Workers Organize For Themselves And Others

I’m a member of the Burgerville Workers Union. Our vision is a $5-an-hour raise for all hourly workers, health care benefits for all workers, and fair and consistent scheduling. We also want a more sustainable workplace. There are things we need in order to work; things like childcare and help with transit. We have hundreds of people who are busing to work.

The BVWU is by and for Burgerville workers. Everyone in it and everything about it is being decided upon by Burgerville workers. It’s a democratic organization.

I need a raise now. The cost of living is going up, and I don’t know if I can make it from paycheck to paycheck. The minimum wage legislation is great, but $15 in five years is too long for me to wait. So my co-workers and I are coming together to do something about our situation now. The BVWU vision is that all hourly workers get a $5-an-hour raise starting immediately. This is fair. This is what I need to survive and build a life for myself. Without a raise, I don’t know what will happen – if I’ll ever be able to go to school, if I’ll ever not be living on the edge, or even if I’ll be able to keep my apartment.

I want to make enough to live.

A raise is very important, but the workers in the union also have a vision for change. The most important part of this is that we are standing together, realizing that we’re not alone, and that we can work together.

I hope the BVWU inspires other workers. The organizing and standing together that we’ve done to fight for some power in the system that’s built against the working people can be done in other places as well.

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