Casual banqueting staff at London's Dorchester hotel could find themselves part of a ballot that will decide whether hotel management has to officially recognise the T&G union.
Last month the T&G called on the Government's Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) to settle a dispute in which the Dorchester refused to recognise the union, which wants to negotiate terms and conditions on behalf of staff.
The CAC has now extended its deadline for calling an independent ballot while it tries to establish if casual banqueting staff should be included as part of the bargaining unit.
Under the Employment Relations Act 1999 it is a statutory requirement to give recognition to unions where the majority of the relevant workforce is in favour.
The dispute is over what the "relevant" workforce might be. It is understood that the Dorchester wants to include casual banqueting staff in a ballot.
The CAC is expected to make its decision this week.
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 31 October - 6 November 2002