Jose Andres accepts the unionization of another D.C. restaurant

The famed chef voluntarily recognized a Unite Here chapter as the collective bargaining representative for employees of The Bazaar. He now has four unionized restaurants.
Jose Andres | Photo courtesy of ThinkFoodGroup/Jose Andres Group

Chef Jose Andres has granted the request of staffers at The Bazaar, one of his celebrated restaurants in Washington, D.C., to accept their formation of a union without a challenge.

The noted humanitarian and philanthropist voluntarily recognized the chapter of Unite Here within days of the workers’ announcement that they intended to organize. Under federal rules, Andres could have tried to keep the restaurant an open shop by petitioning regulators to schedule an employee vote on whether to unionize.

“As an independent restaurant group based in Washington for over three decades amidst the most challenging of times, we are proud to have created places to work that are safe and equitable, with dignity for all,” Andres’ company, the Jose Andres Group, said in a statement. “We hope in coming to the table together we can work cooperatively to preserve good jobs that will employ workers for years to come."

The Bazaar is the fourth restaurant within the Jose Andres Group to be unionized. Another is also located in the District, where few restaurants have been organized, and two are in Los Angeles.

All four are housed in hotels whose staffs belong to unions. The Bazaar is located inside D.C.’s Waldorf Astoria. Workers at the restaurant had noted that they weren’t enjoying the same sort of benefits and pay that Waldorf Astoria employees receive.

The D.C. restaurant is one of six Andres holdings across the country to carry The Bazaar brand name.

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