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Fri May 11, 2018, 11:54 PM

Burgerville fight revives the Wobblies, a radical union from Oregon's industrial past

The Wobblies emerged more than a century ago, a revolutionary, anti-capitalist union that shook up the nation’s industrialists, including Oregon’s timber barons.

Their political descendants no longer toil in logging camps on the American frontier. Now they’re behind the counters of a beloved fast-food chain in Portland, up to their elbows in burger grease, marionberries and Walla Walla onion rings.

“Workers are pissed, and they want to change things,” said Mark Medina, who seized on the notion of organizing Burgerville workers while pulling shifts at the company’s Southeast 92nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard restaurant. "A lot of us are poor, hungry and even homeless."

Their union drive has already won a historic victory, when workers at Medina’s shop voted in April to form a federally recognized union — the first in more than 40 years among fast-food employees nationwide.

Read more: https://www.oregonlive.com/expo/erry-2018/05/2d74cccd872709/burgerville_fastfood_workers_u.html

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