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Portland restaurant workers successfully form a union

Workers at Portland Vietnamese restaurant Cong Tu Bot have successfully unionized, joining a labor union called Unite Here.

Senior Bartender Meade Aronson says after the pandemic shut the restaurant down in 2020, the owners sought employee input before they reopened. Aronson says the owners understand the needs of their workers and have been supportive of their union effort.

"One of our main motivating factors at Cong Tu Bot was seeing Chipotle, Starbucks, the coffee shop in Brunswick have fought these efforts and we want to show people that it's possible and be a resource for those who want to unionize their workplace," Aronson says.

Aronson says an informal staff group called the CTB Rockers United have already instituted a tip pooling system, leading to wage increases of $6 to $9 per hour for workers. He says getting health care is the first goal, a rarity in small restaurants.

Unite Here represents workers in the hospitality industry.