Young Workers United gives Arizmendi four stars for worker satisfaction, security, mobility, and safety. Download the Young Workers United publication: Dining with Justice: A Guide to Guilt Free Eating to read the complete list of winners.
There story was picked up by several news sources copied here.
Dining Out With A Conscience
By Henni Espinosa
from Balitang America
San Francisco, CA- A new study conducted by a San Francisco advocacy group shows that most restaurant workers in the San Francisco Bay Area lost their benefits after the economic crisis cut into business profits.
The Young Worker’s Union conducted a survey of hundreds of restaurant workers last year. Seventy percent said they do not get paid sick leaves. Thirty-nine percent say their employers do not provide health care coverage. Seventy percent of the respondents are part-time workers. “The majority of the restaurants that we surveyed failed. We interviewed workers at 32 restaurants, only 9 passed,” said Peter Bergman, spokesman on the Young Worker’s Union.
To encourage restaurants to treat their workers better, the Young Worker’s Union published a unique dining guide that encourages socially responsible dining choices.. “Dining with Justice” lists San Francisco bakery Arizmendi as the most worker-friendly establishment.
Victor Hernandez has been a worker at Arizmendi Bakery, which operates as a cooperative, for three years. Arizmendi’s workers are considered part-owners.”I don’t have a boss. We work together. We try to help each other with the business so we have a vested personal, as well as personal interest in it,” he said. Hernandez says their workers make about $20 an hour, twice the average wage of restaurant workers in the Bay Area.
Hernandez says there’s none of the usual labor complaints at his workplace. “If the workers are happy, and they feel empowered, they’ll probably work harder. You won’t have to ask them to do things. They’ll be self-motivated,” he explains.
Kindly eateries honored for treating workers well
By Brent Begin
from the San Francisco Examiner
While some San Francisco restaurants are worrying about paying their employees, others are finding that taking care of them is paying off.
Restaurant owners have been feeling the pinch as the recession tightens its grip on San Francisco restaurants, and costs such as employer-mandated health care increase every year. But one group is exploring what that means from the point of view of the servers, bussers, baristas and cooks employed by those businesses.
Young Workers United, which successfully worked to pass a ballot measure that mandated sick leave in 2006, received responses from 32 city restaurants and picked nine that are some of the best to work for in San Francisco.
The group surveyed restaurant workers in the Mission, Richmond, Sunset, Castro, Cole Valley, Hayes Valley, SoMa and Financial District neighborhoods. The categories include wage and hours, job mobility, satisfaction, health and safety, and job security.
The restaurants that made the cut are: Arizmendi, Arlequin, Corner, Frjtz, La Boulange de Hayes, Marino, Mission Pie, Poesia and Zazie.
Joe Marraffino, a baker at the worker cooperative Arizmendi Bakery, said that treating employees well doesn’t necessarily mean losing money.
“I know the customers like it, so it’s not like we’re sacrificing the bottom line,” Marriffino said. “We also get some of the best bakers in The City because they know we’re an attractive place to work.”
However, the 2010 guide “is by no means a complete list,” the report states. “There are over 7,000 food establishments in San Francisco. The restaurants, cafes and bakeries listed in this guide represent the first class of socially responsible businesses in San Francisco.”
Kevin Westlye, executive director of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, received several calls from members of the organization about the survey. In the end, many restaurants did not want to participate because it took so much time.
“Several members, frankly, didn’t agree with the process because their most cherished issue is time,” Westlye said. “Many of them already work 12 to 14 hours a day.”
The group is trying to put a more comprehensive list together next year and are calling out for the thousands of people employed in the restaurant industry to come forward.
Worker Friendly Restaurants
from KQED's California Money
"..in a novel approach to labor activism, San Francisco-based Young Workers United has come out with a list of worker-friendly restaurants."
The clip begins at 0:46