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Wisconsin Café Workers Ratify First Union Contract at Colectivo Coffee

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History has been made. The workers of Colectivo Coffee have voted in favor of their first Union contract with the owners and management of Colectivo Coffee Roasters. The partnership coined the Colectivo Collective, made up of the Colectivo Coffee workers in the Milwaukee/Madison markets who are represented by Local 494 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the Chicago market who are represented by IBEW Local 1220, have negotiated and the workers have voted to accept and ratify their first contract with more than 95% of voters in favor of acceptance.
“This contract ratification is the culmination of the efforts of hundreds of workers over the past three years. We could not have made it to this point without their bravery, the tireless work of the folks at the IBEW, as well as the vocal support of thousands of customers and members of the community. I am beside myself with gratitude for all of them this week. I look forward to what the future holds for those of us behind the counter and throughout Colectivo Coffee,” said Hillary Laskonis, Milwaukee area Colectivo Coffee cafe co-worker and original member of the Volunteer Organizing Committee of the Colectivo Collective.

The start of this Union organizing campaign dates back to mid-2020 with a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administered election taking place in the spring of 2021. Then in August of that year, the NLRB ruled the workers had successfully won their election and organized a Union at their workplace with a majority of the workers voting in favor of unionizing.

“Congratulations to the workers of Colectivo Coffee who have just ratified their first ever union contract with the IBEW Local 494 and IBEW Local 1220,” said Stephanie Bloomingdale, President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO.  “It has taken years of organizing, hard work, and steadfast solidarity to secure this landmark collective bargaining agreement at one of Wisconsin’s most iconic coffee shops. Our community can continue to enjoy Colectivo Coffee knowing that the workers have a union voice and a collective say in their working conditions.” 
Colectivocollectivologo"Collaborating with my coworkers to get to a final agreement we’re excited about is something I’ll always be proud of. Connecting with my fellow Colectivo Collective members in the months leading up to this agreement has been an incredibly fulfilling experience, and our successful ratification is proof that hard work and solidarity in the workplace pays off. I’m thrilled to see the changes already taking place throughout my cafe and look forward to continued collaboration with my co-workers throughout the Colectivo Collective about the positive impact of this contract thus far and in the future,” shared Zacary Heren, Chicago area Colectivo Coffee cafe ambassador and contract Bargaining Committee member.
“We could not be prouder of the workers of the Colectivo Collective, who for three years now have been putting in the work to stand up and make sure their voices are heard in their workplace. Both of us would like to thank all the past and present frontline Colectivo Collective workers, the members and officers of both Local Unions, our International Union’s organizing team, the community, and the organized labor movement for their hard work, support, and partnership throughout this effort. This has been a long and inspiring journey and we look forward to the road ahead as we continue to build and strengthen our partnership with Colectivo Coffee Roasters,” concluded Local 494 Business Manager Dean A. Warsh and Local 1220 Business Manager John Rizzo.