Internal messages show managers at Kim's in Uptown Minneapolis are continuing to encourage employees to vote against unionization, saying they believe the restaurant can meet workers' needs without a union.

Workers notified management May 28 of their intent to unionize at Kim's, James Beard Award-winning chef Ann Kim's Korean-American restaurant, citing unpredictable work schedules they said made it hard to earn a living. Because Kim, as the employer, did not recognize the employee union, workers will vote Thursday on whether to form a union, per National Labor Relations Act requirements.

In an Instagram post earlier this month, Kim said she "wholeheartedly" believes her staff "can come together as a Kim's team without a union." Kim did not respond to a request for further comment.

Workers at Kim's would join Unite Here Local 17, a hospitality union that represents workers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as well as stadiums, hotels, restaurants, bars and clubs across Minnesota.

Local restaurant industry Instagrammer Joe Rosenthal first posted the internal messages, sent to staff between June 10 and June 24.

The messages encouraged employees to participate in the union election and outlined reasons to vote "no," including the cost of dues, the rigidity of union contracts, the impact on the restaurant's culture, the disconnect between managers and workers during the collective bargaining process and the potential for future strikes.

"Unions make a lot of promises during a campaign (more money, better benefits, job protection, a voice in management, or seat at the table, etc.). But that's not how collective bargaining works," read a June 24 message from Kim and her business partner and husband, Conrad Leifur. "The law does not compel either party to agree to a proposal or require the making of a concession. The legal obligation is simply to bargain in good faith. There are no guarantees, and by law, an employer is not compelled to agree to any union proposal. If a union's promises sound too good to be true, it's because they are."

Unite Here said in a statement that it is "disappointed" Vestalia Hospitality — the restaurant group that includes Kim's, Young Joni, Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza — "continues to engage in persistent, textbook union-busting tactics at Kim's rather than respect a supermajority of their workers. We want a seat at the table so we can make our jobs the best they can be — and Kim's the best restaurant in Minneapolis. We know hospitality can be a stable, fulfilling career. We're excited to build that future."

The messages acknowledged issues workers have raised — more respect, more stable hours, the restaurant's service charge rather than a tipping model — and encouraged them to bring their questions to managers.

"We hear you. Some of these things we can control, like our culture and our desire to work as a team where your individual voices matter," the June 13 message read. "Some things we can't control, like how many guests we have and how many people we need on a particular shift.

"We hope you can see our vision for Kim's. There are so many amazing people working incredibly hard here, and we are starting to see signs of growth in the community."

The union drive at Kim's is part of a recent wave of labor organizing at Twin Cities restaurants and entertainment venues, including First Avenue in November and acclaimed Chef Daniel del Prado's Colita and Café Cerés last week. Meanwhile, organized labor is pushing to establish a Labor Standards Board that would study and recommend new workplace regulations to city leaders.

The proposal, which Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey supports, has raised alarms among restaurateurs who say additional regulations will be bad for business and could ultimately shut them down.