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Madison Sourdough Workers in Wisconsin Ratify a First Contract

April 19, 2024

Over 40 workers at Madison Sourdough Co. in Madison, Wis., who are members of UFCW Local 1473, ratified a first union contract on March 7 that raises wages and improves benefits. The workers, who joined our union in April of 2023, are employed as bakers, baristas, dishwashers, cooks, and delivery drivers at the bakery, cafe, mill and patisserie.

Highlights of the three-year contract, which is the first of its kind in Madison, include increases to base pay rates, guaranteed annual pay raises, paid sick time, and predictable scheduling. The contract also establishes new benefits that the local and employer hope will aid in making jobs and the company attractive to workers seeking a career in the food service and hospitality industry, which is known for its high turnover and difficult working conditions. These new benefits include paid parental leave, retirement, short-term disability, increases to paid vacation with faster accrual, and the creation of a joint labor-management safety committee.  

“We knew that winning our union was just the beginning, and that bargaining our contract was going to be our biggest challenge yet,” said Spencer Schlenker, who is employed as a bread baker at Madison Sourdough Co. and served as a bargaining committee member. “While it was a long and difficult process, we were able to stand together as a unit to win improvements in our workplace, and ultimately bring a strong union contract to our co-workers.”

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