Last night's union picket at Burgerville's headquarters in Vancouver, Wash., received an unwelcome visitor: right-wing protest leader Joey Gibson.
Today, the Burgerville Worker Union alleged that members of Gibson's protest group Patriot Prayer showed up and "harrassed striking workers."
Workers at four Portland Burgerville stores walked off the job on the morning of Oct. 23 in protest of failed wage negotiations with management. Last night's picket at the company headquarters was advertised by the BVWU as an overnight vigil to "mourn the death of Burgerville's conscience."
Reporting and photos from Columbian reporter Anthony Macuk on Twitter showed Joey Gibson, the group's leader, appeared briefly at the picket with a group of no more than five Patriot Prayer members. Macuk said Gibson was "chatting with some union folks," while other protesters sang chants in a megaphone.
According to Macuk, one Patriot Prayer member brought a mic to yell things like "get a real job" at protesters.
In response, Burgerville management tells WW in a statement that it is "following due process to investigate any incidences of harassment at its home office in Vancouver."
"Burgerville strongly condemns all forms of discrimination, harassment and violence," it continued. "We support the union's right to lawfully strike."
In a statement, the BVWU said it was "appalled but not surprised that white supremacists like Gibson and Patriot Prayer are actively standing with Burgerville to defend poverty wages," and that "Burgerville has a choice to make."
The BVWU said it plans to continue the strike, now in its third day, until "the company decides to do the right thing and put an end to this by publicly denouncing Patriot Prayer and white supremacy, and by signing a fair contract."