We are Hiring!

For the best chance of being considered for the job, please bring in a resume and cover letter by August 27th!

Title: Red and Black Café Collective Member
Please read the whole ad!

About the Red & Black Café:

We are a worker-owned, collectively–managed, IWW-member vegan café. We are open from 9 am until 11 pm, and host performances and events in the evening. We were located on SE Division Street from October 2000 – September 2007, and after a 3 1/2 month hiatus, we reopened at 400 SE 12th in January 2008.

About the Job:

Shift Work:

All workers are expected to provide customer service, run the register, make coffee drinks and other beverages, prepare food orders, wash dishes, and clean! There is also an opportunity to work the occasional kitchen prep shift. Strong multi-tasking skills are absolutely essential.

As worker-owners, we share responsibility for the cafe’s success. On shift, this means holding ourselves and one another to high standards, being thorough and efficient in our work, and communicating effectively.

Most shifts are 5-7 hours long. We try to take turns working late-night and early morning shifts, so you should be open to working a variety of shifts.

Meetings and Management Work:

All workers are required to attend biweekly collective meetings. We make decisions by consensus, so an ability to compromise and collaborate is a must!

All workers are strongly encouraged to participate in the management of the cafe. In order to become a collective member, workers must participate on at least one of the following management committees:

  • Ordering & Pricing
  • Maintenance
  • Bookkeeping & Finances
  • Booking
  • Advertising & Outreach
  • Personnel
  • Other Ad Hoc committees formed as needed

Most committees meet about once a month. Members typically spend an additional 3-7 hours per week fulfilling management duties.

We are especially in need of new members with with experience or interest in finances, personnel, or marketing.

We often use e-mail and an online project management site (Crabgrass, at we.riseup.net) to communicate in between meetings, draft documents, and store files. All workers should be willing to check e-mail and Crabgrass most days in order to stay informed. Thanks to the Free Geek collective, we have 4 Linux-based computers at the cafe (2 free computers in the dining room plus a desktop and a laptop for workers to use).

Our Intake Process:

As a new hire, you will be considered a “sub.” We will be able to offer you about 4-5 shifts / week.

Please do not apply unless you are able to work at least 25 – 30 hours per week.

You will be required to attend biweekly collective meetings. You will not be empowered to block consensus decisions yet, but your opinions will always be taken into consideration. Participation is strongly encouraged.

After working for 6 months and with the unanimous approval of the collective members, you can become a collective member and co-manager. At this point, you will be able to vote in collective meetings.

In order to become a co-owner, you must invest 111 hours of “sweat equity” (unpaid labor). You may do this over the course of a year or longer if desired. After working for 1 year and with the unanimous approval of all co-managers, you may become a co-owner.

You are asked to make at least a 1-year commitment.

We are a closed IWW shop, so if you are not a member of the Industrial Workers of the World you will be asked to join! Dues are $9 / month. You may choose to attend union meetings and participate in other union activities, but this is not required. You can find out more about the IWW and the Portland chapter here: iww.org/en/node


Shift work and collective meetings are paid at $8.40 / hour plus tips.
Each worker can be paid for up to 4 hours of meetings OR committee work per month.
Additional committee work is unpaid and recorded as “sweat equity”. If the business is successful, these unpaid hours are reimbursed over a period of time after you leave the cafe in good standing.

How to Apply:

Please bring a resume and cover letter to the Red & Black Café at 400 SE 12th Avenue.  In your letter, please address the following:

  • Describe any past experience working with collectives.
  • Describe past experience with consensus decision making.
  • Describe past food service experience.
  • What skills can you bring to the collective? Include any skills related to food service, business management, and any of our committees listed above.
  • Are you able to make at least a 1-year commitment?
  • How many hours per week are you able to work? Do you have any schedule restrictions? Do you expect your availability to change within the next year?


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