Oregon burger chain changes policy after employees wear ‘Abolish ICE’ buttons

Burgerville Workers Union/Facebook

Employees at a Pacific Northwest burger chain triggered a new policy after employees wore buttons that read “Abolish ICE” and “No one is illegal” with their uniforms.

Ten employees of fast food restaurant Burgerville, located in Portland, Ore., were sent home for a day last month when they refused to remove the buttons while on their shift, The Oregonian reported.

The silent protest came amid national outrage regarding the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that previously separated thousands of migrant children from their parents at the US-Mexico border. 

Calling for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to be dissolved has become a popular pledge for many Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections.{mosads}

Burgerville Human Resources Director Liz Graham told the newspaper that customers complained about the employees’ buttons. 

“Guests provided feedback that they didn’t want to see personal and political messages while they ate,” Graham said. “Additionally, some employees expressed that the content of the buttons was drawing unwanted attention that made them uncomfortable.”

The company said in a statement to Fox News on Sunday that the employees violated a long-standing nonwritten policy to abstain from politics while on the clock. 

“Some of our employees have been wearing buttons expressing their political views at work. While Burgerville had a long-standing verbal policy prohibiting the wearing of personal buttons, we did not have a written policy about this,” the company said in the statement.

The buttons led to the creation of a new policy in an effort to create a “universally welcoming and inclusive environment.”

“We are instituting an updated uniform policy, and buttons and other messaging – both political and personal – will not be allowed. It is a policy that is common in public-facing businesses and is in alignment with our mission to Serve With Love,” the statement read.

The new rule will go into effect on Sept. 13.

The move comes amid negotiations between the company and fast food chain’s union, Burgerville Workers Union.

Workers at the Oregon restaurant chain made history in April by becoming the first formally recognized fast food union in the country.

Tags abolish ice Burgerville fast food restaurant Immigration Oregon Portland Unions
See all Hill.TV See all Video