PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Seven Stars Bakery management announced Monday they would voluntarily recognize their employees’ unionization movement, paving the way for collective bargaining negotiations to begin.

“We look forward to working with the union to continue to make Seven Stars Bakery cafes a great place to work for great people who care about their customers and fellow employees,” the company said in a statement to 12 News.

Around 50 employees at three Seven Stars locations in Providence announced last week they intended to unionize, citing a need for better benefits and pay. The group initially included baristas, keyholders, re-stockers and counter staff from the bakeries on Point Street, Hope Street and Broadway.

The Rumford and Cranston locations later declared their intentions to unionize before management voluntarily recognized employees as part of the UFCW Local 328.

Following the initial announcement, employees said management had not reached a decision on whether to recognize the union or not.

Management said Monday they met with Local 328 leadership last week and had productive conversations.

The decision came in response to the request from “an overwhelming majority” of part- and full-time staff, according to the company.

Seven Stars Bakery employees join a labor movement that has also reached national corporations like Starbucks and Trader Joe’s.