Thanks to a settlement brokered by the National Labor Relations
Board, Georgene Barragan returned to Bread Song Bakery June 24,
six months after she was fired for failing to reveal past union
experience on her job application.
Barragan, a full-time organizer for Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco
Workers & Grain Millers Local 114, got a job at Bread Song last
July in order to give workers there a chance to unionize. Wages
and benefits are substantially lower there than at unionized bakeries
in the Portland area. The Lake Oswego bakery is owned by a subsidiary
Barragan said co-workers welcomed her back with hugs and handshakes
when she arrived for her pre-dawn shift. They knew she was returning
because Bread Song posted terms of the out-of-court settlement in
three languages on company bulletin boards.
Barragan was a mixer when she was fired, but rather than displace
her replacement, she came back in a position on the divider line.
She’ll divide dough into loaves while on the clock, and unite
bakery workers, she hopes, while on break.
“I think they’re realizing the power they have if they
come together as one and negotiate in a union rather than on their
own,” Barragan said.