Employees on the downtown Voodoo Doughnut location have given the corporate an ultimatum to voluntarily acknowledge their union, the Doughnut Workers United (DWU), or it should file a petition for a Nationwide Labor Relations board election. Mark Medina, a spokesperson for the union, tells Eater that Voodoo Doughnut can have till Thursday at midday to acknowledge the union earlier than it recordsdata a petition with the NLRB. Medina says the union is extraordinarily assured it could win a union election. “We’re approaching unanimous settlement with overwhelming union assist,” he says.
Voodoo Doughnut, a Portland doughnut chain that now operates retailers in Austin, Denver, and Orlando, has lengthy been a vacationer vacation spot in Previous City for its “maple blazer blunts” and raspberry-jam-filled voodoo doll doughnuts. Voodoo’s Previous City staff based the union in March of 2020, largely within the face of the pandemic, when many staff on the retailer felt that they weren’t being adequately protected by the corporate. The union has fought for elevated safety presence after incidences like a man armed with a hatchet entering the store, and quite a few incidences of feminine staff being adopted after work.
Medina says that the union has supplied meals and assist for struggling staff, and handed out KN95 masks to dozens of staff throughout last summer’s catastrophic wildfires; he says that that the corporate disposed of the protecting gear as a result of they have been delivered by the union.
Samantha Bryce, an worker of Voodoo’s downtown location and a union chief, informed Eater PDX that she dropped off containers of the masks to retailer staff at numerous areas round city, solely to be informed later that the masks have been instantly “faraway from the premises.” She says that no justification was ever given to her or different staff as to why. Representatives from Voodoo Doughnut have but to reply to requests for remark.
The union additionally desires Voodoo to rehire plenty of staff furloughed firstly of the pandemic. Medina tells Eater that whereas 30 or so staff have been initially laid off, solely round three have been employed again once more; in the meantime, Voodoo employed round two-dozen new staff, in what Medina calls a transparent try at union busting. “We now have an inventory of people that nonetheless need their jobs again at this time if the corporate can be keen to try this,” he says. “That will present good religion on the a part of the corporate.”
The election would solely acknowledge staff on the downtown location of Voodoo, and would set them as much as be part of the ranks of newly unionized food service workers, together with Burgerville staff; the DWU would equally be related to the Worldwide Employees of the World.
Between the pandemic, wildfires, and final summer time’s protests in opposition to police brutality and racial inequity—in addition to the unconventional police and federal guard response to the protests—many within the media have questioned the soundness of downtown’s business. Medina says that paying staff pretty slightly than spending cash on “union-busting” would profit the downtown neighborhood, as staff may extra readily assist the native financial system.
“The vote is in order that staff ourselves have a legally binding seat on the desk to barter over our important work in a dysfunctional downtown that continually forgets that its staff who make this neighborhood run,” says Lupe Miller, a employee on the downtown location, in a press launch. “Everybody desires to put in writing downtown’s obituary. I would like staff who love and take care of one another to put in writing its subsequent chapter as an alternative.”
Voodoo Doughnut has not responded to a number of requests for remark. It is a creating story and will probably be up to date with additional info.
• Voodoo Doughnut [Official]
• Doughnut Workers United [Official]
• As Restaurants Shutter in Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic, Portland’s Most Iconic Doughnut Shop Is Unionizing [EPDX]
• A Hatchet-Wielding Man Robbed the Voodoo Doughnut Downtown This Weekend [EPDX]
• Behind Portland’s Fight for Unionized Fast Food Restaurants [EPDX]