Strong Popular Sheffield Cafe first to recognise Trade Union

The workers and owners of a popular local café/restaurant have forged a union recognition agreement thought to be a first of its kind in the city.

South Street Kitchen in Park Hill has agreed to undertake collective bargaining with their workers’ union of choice, Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU).

The agreement means that the owners of the cafe have signed a written agreement to negotiate with worker representatives on issues such as pay, workplace safety, and time off.

Union recognition is commonplace in some industries such as public services and manufacturing, but very rare in the hospitality industry, where union membership is very low amongst its predominantly young workforce.

The recognition agreement is designed to give workers a more formal and permanent voice in their workplace.

Zoran (worker at South Street Kitchen) said “The agreement means we now have a formal process for negotiating with management so that together we can continue to make this a great place to work. We are proud to be members of the BFAWU and would encourage other hospitality workers to form a union where they work”

Owner Rachel Cornish said: “We’ve always taken the concerns of our staff very seriously. We know that the success of our business is rooted in the hard work and dedication of our team. We are happy to recognise our staff’s choice of union, the BFAWU, and we are looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship”.

In recent years Sheffield Trades Council and the BFAWU have run a joint initiative, Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise, which is supporting workers form unions in the hospitality industry, raising the profile of trade unionism across the city.

BFAWU general secretary, Sarah Woolley, said: “I would like to welcome these organised workers into the trade union movement, and I congratulate Tim and Rachel from South Street Kitchen on recognising the workers right to form a union. It shows that unions and good employers can work hand in hand for the benefit of all”.