The Transport & General Workers' Union (T&G) has won recognition at Momentum Services, the firm which looks after on-board catering and passenger services on Eurostar trains.
Momentum is 49%-owned by the Compass Group. It was formed in February 2000 as a joint venture between Granada's food service division and the majority owner, the Italian on-board catering company Cremonini, expressly to win the Eurostar contract, which started in June 2000.
Dave Turnbull, the London regional organiser for hospitality at the T&G, said that the union had started recruiting members last summer and had built up a membership of 211 of the 300 UK staff at Momentum.
It is about to conduct a postal ballot to elect five shop stewards and three health and safety representatives.
Under recognition, the union will participate in the annual pay review and in a joint committee with management to discuss terms and conditions.
Turnbull said that one priority was to talk to Eurostar about health and safety issues such as the secure storage of luggage which could endanger catering staff carrying hot food on high-speed trains.
The T&G has a framework agreement with Compass to recruit staff at workplaces where it has members, and to win recognition where membership has reached the right level.
by Angela Frewin