Aug 8, 2022 - News

Pizza chain Via 313 workers plan to unionize

People gather outside near a black fence with two posters that read "union strong" and "Detroit style=union strong"

Via 313 workers rally in support of unionizing the local pizza chain. Photo: Nicole Cobler/Axios

Employees of Via 313 pizzerias say they have a "supermajority" of workers prepared to vote in favor of unionizing.

The big picture: The workers are part of three Via 313 locations — East 6th Street, Oak Hill and North Campus — and have filed for an election through the National Labor Relations Board.

  • The three locations organized through a new, independent union called Restaurant Workers United.
  • Roughly 100 workers — or more than 75% of union-eligible employees — support the move, according to a union spokesperson.

Why it matters: Workers at the Austin pizza chain have previously protested about working conditions and lack of communication during COVID surges. Management responded to protests by saying the restaurants were following all CDC protocols during the pandemic.

What they're saying: Employees say they're seeking to unionize to pursue living wages, sick pay, reliable scheduling, job security and other benefits.

  • "I have a really strong sense of community with my coworkers, and I see us all struggle," said John Cuvillier, vice president of Restaurant Workers United and an employee at the Oak Hill location. "We don't deserve that because we work so hard, and we deserve a voice in the job."
  • Via 313 did not respond to an Axios request for comment.

Zoom out: The move follows a national trend of growing unionizing efforts in a variety of industries, including retail and other food and drink establishments.

  • The National Labor Relations Board is seeing the highest level of union organizing in 10 years, CNN reported.

What's next: The National Labor Relations Board will conduct an election. If a majority of employees vote for the union, the board will certify the union as the representative for collective bargaining.


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