The Fate of NYC’s Undocumented Bakers Could Change the Food Industry


Last Thursday, a group of several dozen bakery workers, union organizers, and workers’ rights advocates took to the streets of midtown Manhattan to protest the firing of 24 undocumented immigrants at New York City’s artisanal Tom Cat Bakery last spring. Bearing signs in Spanish and English and chanting for a boycott of Tom Cat bread in New York restaurants, the protesters brought to the fore this question: Do businesses have a responsibility to their undocumented workers after a government crackdown? The answer could change the future of the food industry, which employs several million of the estimated 8 million undocumented workers nationwide.

Chants of “Qué queremos? Justicia! Cuando? Ahora!” (“What do we want? Justice! When? Now!” in Spanish) and “When immigrants are under attack, stand up, fight back!” rang through the air.

In April, Tom Cat Bakery was…



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