Filed under: Action, Community Organizing, Labor, Northwest
Burgerville has forced Ivy to quit. If folks remember, the union and community supporters saved Ivy’s job a few weeks ago when management attempted to fire her for standing up for her rights. Now they have taken their retaliation to the next level by making unsubstantiated allegations and threats putting her in a position where she felt she had no choice but to quit.
The week before last, someone claiming to be a private investigator came into Ivy’s store and, after talking to the manager, pulled Ivy off her job and sat her down in the dining area, where customers and coworkers could see and hear. When Ivy asked if someone else such as a coworker, management or HR could be in the meeting the man said that this, “wouldn’t be appropriate.” He never gave his full name or any credentials, and when Ivy subsequently asked Burgerville for these details they refused to provide them.
The man proceeded to loudly claim that Ivy had stolen over a thousand dollars in gift cards, and claimed to have proof of this. He even claimed to be watching a video of her stealing a gift card. Ivy pointed out to him that there are no cameras that she knew of in the restaurant. He refused to show Ivy any evidence or give her any specific details. Ivy denied the allegations.
The next day, when Ivy called the restaurant to speak to her manager, she was told that the company had clear evidence and she had a choice, either resign quietly, or they would prosecute her for the full amount of the gift cards and she would face criminal charges. In the face of unknown evidence by a company that was clearly ready to lie to its workers, she chose to quit.
We are deeply saddened by loosing Ivy as a coworker, and we are deeply angered this injustice and by Burgerville’s unscrupulous behavior. We find these bully tactics, and outrageous lack of due process to be unacceptable. But Ivy is not afraid, she is speaking out despite management’s threats, and the union as a whole will not abide these abuses.
Today, members of the Burgerville Workers Union, members of the IWW, and community supporters marched into Ivy’s former restaurant and send this clear message: Stop retaliating against workers for standing up for their rights.
Ivy’s story is a clear example of why Burgerville workers need an organization for and by themselves. Without the BVWU these stories will never get told and management will continue to disrespect our basic rights with impunity. But when we stand together, we can win respect and improve our jobs and our lives!