Unite, the UK’s leading union, has signed a voluntary recognition agreement with London’s Dalston Superstore to represent the venue’s staff.
Dalston Superstore caters to London’s diverse LGBTQI+ community offering a nightclub, cabaret venue, café, gallery and community space.
The voluntary recognition agreement sets out negotiating structures for issues such as pay, terms and conditions and dispute procedures.
Most of Dalston Superstore’s staff are members of Unite, which represents thousands of workers across the country in restaurants, bars and hotels.
Dalston Superstore employees and Unite reps, Ayanna van der Maten and Max Beecher, said: “We’ve worked at Dalston Superstore for a long time and think it’s a great place that is important to the queer community. It can however, like many late-night venues, be a challenging work environment. Being part of the union means that we now have the support of Unite and our colleagues to make things better for all of us and feel valued for what we do.
“Working in hospitality is often undervalued as a career and as a result work conditions and expectations can be unreasonable. Being a unionised workplace is an important step in recognising the value of the hard work we all do and sets an example for others in hospitality. We are proud to work at Dalston Superstore as we believe it has improved the lives of many queer people and we see being unionised as a part of that.”
Unite service sector organiser Janet McLeod said: “Unite is pleased to sign a recognition agreement with Dalston Superstore. This employer is well known through-out London’s LGBTQI+ communities and night-time economy for offering a progressive and inclusive environment. This agreement will now ensure that we can represent our members’ best interests at the venue.
“I really am proud of the efforts of our members to secure this agreement with Dalston Superstore. I hope it will inspire even more hospitality workers to organise with Unite at their workplaces for better jobs, pay and conditions.”
Dalston Superstore owner Dan Beaumont said: “Dalston Superstore is now (we think) the first unionised queer venue in London, maybe the UK. Our team have been busy organising to have a greater say in their working conditions and benefits. This is fresh territory for us, as a venue and as a team; the first steps towards a more accountable future.
“We signed an agreement to officially recognise Unite the union and our new journey begins together. Since we opened our doors in 2009, Dalston Superstore has never stopped evolving. Our staff over the past thirteen years have always been at the vanguard of this evolution: where they lead, we follow.
“Our team now officially stand shoulder-to-shoulder with over 1.5 million workers across the country. As a venue we continue to ask ourselves fundamental questions about who we are, what we believe in, and what we want our future to look like. Watch this space”