Important update about Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise

We are delighted to report that our fantastic Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise has been secured for another year and we will continue to have the benefit of a full time Union Organiser on the streets in Sheffield helping to get workers in non-union workplaces organised in the fast food and hospitality sectors. We are hugely grateful to the many union branches, other organisations and individuals who have contributed donations to make this project such a success.

The project ran into a funding crisis this February – just weeks after our then Union Organiser Jesse Palmer has left us to return back to Brighton. The SNAP project is part funded (50%) by donations collected via Sheffield TUC and by funding (50%) secured by the Bakers Food and Allied Workers union (BFAWU) via the International union of Foodworkers and US union SEIU. A change in strategy suddenly meant the funding stream for SNAP and our sister project Leeds Get Organised via the BFAWU ended, leaving us with the very real prospect that all this great work we were doing would ground to a halt.

We are very pleased to report that negotiations at an international level have secured funds for a further 12 months from April 2023 to April 2024.

The major change for us in Sheffield will be that BFAWU’s Gareth Lane who had previously been supervising both Union Organisers in Sheffield and Leeds, will become the new Sheffield Union Organiser. We are delighted to have the considerable expertise and experience of Gareth directly in Sheffield.

The project will now be working under a newly devised organising strategy negotiated with the IUF. Organising targets will be specified and will include most of the “big names” in fast food outlets. The new emphasis will be on building sustainable workplace organisation of fast food workers in each city. With a tried and tested organising methodology we believe this carefully targeted approach will deliver results. Monthly and quarterly reports on progress are to be expected.

Sheffield TUC’s target will remain £15,000 per year of which we have already raised over £12,000. Further donations will be gratefully received. Please pay via bacs to Sheffield Trade Union Council; Account no: 59109499   Sort code: 60-83-01 Use reference: Union Organiser

It should be noted that we have only one year’s funding secured from April 2023 to April 2024. We will be measured by results and we have been given support to prove that we can build a sustainable union organisation for fast food/hospitality workers in both cities. Our project has won praise and acclaim from across the UK trade union movement including the TUC and now internationally. The IUF is keen to see whether we can deliver on these targets in UK and if so whether they could be applied to other countries. Fast food, and the wider food industry is the biggest sector in our country with the worst employment practices and huge areas of non-union and indeed anti-union workplaces. Sheffield Needs a Pay Rise and Leeds Get organised have got noticed and we are receiving important support to continue our work. Nothing is certain and what happens after April 2024 will very much depend on how much we have succeeded.