November 21, 2019
By MINHO KIM
Dozens of employees at the popular fast-casual chain protested outside its River North location.
Portillo’s workers rallied today at the restaurant chain’s River North location, demanding a $15 minimum wage across all 43 Portillo’s restaurants in Illinois.
The demands from the employees are the latest in fast-food workers’ efforts across the U.S. to win a $15 minimum wage, which became a focal point starting in 2012 after 200 fast-food workers in New York City walked out demanding higher wages.
Portillo’s workers also demanded the company pay a higher salary to those who have worked for years at Portillo’s. Unlike other restaurant chains with high turnover rates, it is not unusual for Portillo’s workers to stay at the restaurant for years. Some of the rally’s participants have worked at Portillo’s for more than 10 years.
“We love Portillo’s,” said Maria Salas. “Many of us have been working here for five, 10 or 15 years or more. Now, we want to improve Portillo’s.”
After reading statements, the rallying workers went inside the River North restaurant to hand over a petition with more than 650 signatures from Portillo’s workers. They walked out with the petition still in their hands, as the management refused to take it and asked them to leave.
Portillo’s said in a statement that the rallying workers do not represent the entire Portillo’s team.
“Neither this subset of employees, nor any third party, represents the voices of our 6,000 employees,” Portillo’s said in the statement, sent via email.
Other demands of the workers include five sick days per year, affordable health insurance and increased vacation days.
Source : https://www.chicagobusiness.com/restaurants/portillos-workers-rally-15-minimum-wage