Celebrity Chef Refused To Voluntarily Recognize Union; The Workers Unionized Anyway

A high-profile restaurant in Minneapolis has gone union.

CBS News reports:

“Workers at a premiere Minneapolis restaurant, Kim’s, voted to unionize on Thursday, despite some pushback from owner and award-winning chef Ann Kim.

A majority of workers —  65% — voted “yes” to join Unite Here Local 17, Minnesota’s hospitality and craft beverage workers union.

Workers signed a petition in favor of unionizing in late May, saying they struggled with wages and scheduling. Kim pushed back and said the move wasn’t necessary.

Theo Hofrenning spoke to WCCO about why he unionized.

‘Wages is one thing, but stability in terms of scheduling is another,’ Hofrenning said. ‘We are a no tip restaurant and that also affects people in the front of house and back of house, because if we aren’t earning tips, it can be hard.’

He makes $26 an hour and says when on-call shifts are canceled it directly impacts his family. He said he believes a union would give him more control over the conditions at work and will allow him to be part of the decision-making process.

‘From the beginning, our goal has always been to give our team members the opportunity to participate in a fair election and cast their own vote. It was important to me that everyone’s voice was heard. I respect the election results and look forward to working with the team as we move into the future,’ Ann Kim said in a statement.”

For the rest of the story, visit CBS News here.

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