Following a Department of Homeland Security ICE probe, officials at Tom Cat Bakery in Long Island City fired dozens of immigrant workers. The workers had spent years building the city’s oldest artisanal bakery into a successful business that supplies fresh bread throughout the city.
Over the past seven months, organized immigrant workers have defied both this vicious attack by ICE and Tom Cat Bakery’s tacit cooperation with these tactics. This resistance serves as an example to us all – immigrant workers and allies in the Trump era can fight back against a brutally racist system intending to rip apart families and communities. Despite numerous attempts to push Tom Cat Bakery to do the right thing, paying a just severance to dedicated workers impacted by ICE and adopting common sense policies protecting immigrant workers still on the job, the acclaimed artisanal bakery still refuses to hear workers’ demands for justice.
On October 12, 2017, the FCWA led a delegation of supporters to deliver a letter to Mr. Nobuhiro Iijima, president of Yamazaki Baking Co., which is the parent company of Tom Cat Bakery. Yamazaki is based in Japan, and we delivered the letter its Los Angeles headquarters, asking Mr. Iijima to intervene on behalf of the Tom Cat workers. Yamazaki also owns the brand Vie de France. The delegation included folks from DREAM Team LA, UNITE HERE Local 11, and Warehouse Worker Resource Center.
Tom Cat Bakery workers demand:
1. A fair severance package that recognizes their years of hard work building Tom Cat into a successful business.
2. The adoption by Tom Cat of simple, widely-accepted best practices to protect workers against any future immigration clampdowns.
You can help these workers win justice today!
Brandworkers, the FCWA member group supporting the Tom Cat Bakery workers, has built a platform called Solid to help individuals and organizations build campaigns, connecting actions online and offline. Today you can:
Sign a petition.
Donate to the Tom Cat worker relief fund, and
Download a Community Solidarity Kit, with all the tools you need to coordinate your group’s Tom Cat customer actions!