Home

Immigrant workers protest Tom Cat Bakery after bakery demands to see documentation

Tom Cat (Facebook)

March 22, By Hannah Wulkan

Immigrant workers at a Long Island City bakery rallied today after they were threatened with mass firings.

According to workers, Tom Cat Bakery, an industrial bakery at 43-05 10th Street in LIC, threatened about 30 immigrant workers with firings last week following an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security.

The employees said that they were told they would be fired after 10 business days if they did not provide new employment documents indicating they were legally able to work in the US.

“We work hard, pay taxes and have given so much to make Tom Cat into a hugely successful company,” said Sabino Milian, a worker at the factory. “We refuse to be thrown away like the bakery’s garbage, and we will advance forward together.”

The workers are all members of Brandworkers, a non-profit that brings food manufacturing workers together to fight for good jobs and a sustainable food system. They decided that rather than give in to the demands of the factory, they would protest instead.

“Tom Cat has a golden opportunity to act responsibly and stand up to the President Trump’s harsh immigration policies,” said Haeyoung Yoon, director of strategic partnerships for the National Employment Law Project. “The company can and should be a leader by doing all it within the bounds of the law to protect its workers who have baked and delivered their bread and built their company.”

In addition to asking Tom Cat to stand up to the Department of Homeland Security and preserve their jobs, the employees called on other workers throughout the country to protest with them, and eventually to hold a nationwide general strike on May 1.

“We risked a lot to come to this country in order to make a better life for our kids,” said Tom Cat worker Librada Antigua. “The Trump administration may want us to disappear, but I’m not leaving my children for anything. Our unity is our strength, and our commitment is to victory.”

Tom Cat Bakery is an arm of one of the world’s largest multi-national baking companies, Yamazaki Baking. It provides bread to Citarella Gourmet Market, Darden Restaurants and the Grand Hyatt, among other companies.

The company was not immediately available for comment.

Latest News

Vote for the projects you believe need funding, cast your ballot online
March 16, By Hannah Wulkan
Participatory budgeting voters in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City will be able to vote online for the first time ever this year. Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer will kick off his third annual participatory budgeting vote on March 25,…
DOT looking to add as many as 10 Citi Bike stations in Long Island City this summer, seeks feedback
March 16, By Hannah Wulkan
As the Citi Bike program prepares to expand in western Queens, the Department of Transportation is looking for community input where to place the bike stations. The DOT and Community Board 2 will host two community workshops next Thursday,…
LIC man who threw dog out of window sentenced to a year in prison
March 16, By Hannah Wulkan
A man who lives on the border of Long Island City and Astoria was sentenced to a year in prison for dropping his dog out of a third story window last summer, announced Queens District Attorney Richard Brown today.…
7 train service down for nearly 2 hours after passengers evacuated at Hunters Point Ave station
March 15, Staff Report
Service on the  No. 7 train was down for nearly two hours this morning after a train was evacuated at the Hunters Point Ave. station following a loud noise in one of the cars, said an MTA spokesperson.…
Long Island City family-sized units to go for $7,000 per month
March 14, By Hannah Wulkan
A developer is building townhouses in Long Island City with units large enough for families. Developer GDC Properties is in the process of building a 76-unit complex that consists of 38 four-story town houses with two duplexes in each.…
Pilates studio to open on Jackson Avenue next month
March 14, By Hannah Wulkan
A new Pilates studio will open up in Long Island City next month, bringing a classical approach to the exercise classes. LIC Pilates will open up on the second floor of 12-17 Jackson Avenue on April 4,…

Social

More Headlines

19-year-old woman sexually assaulted in LIC hotel room by sanitation worker, police say
March 7, Staff Report
A city sanitation worker was arrested for sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman in a Long Island City hotel room early Monday morning, according to police. The victim was in her hotel room waiting for a friend--who had left the room to return--when she heard a knock on the door around 5:40 am.…
Doggy day care center to open in Hunters Point
March 6, By Hannah Wulkan
A new doggy daycare center with a focus on socializing dogs with one another will open up in Long Island City later this week. Daycare and boarding facility Happy Dogs will open its fourth location in the City on the ground floor of 5-04 50th Avenue on Friday,…
Manducatis Rustica to host fundraiser Wednesday to combat hunger, joins forces with local pottery studio
March 6, By Hannah Wulkan
A Long Island City restaurateur and a local pottery studio are once again working together to combat hunger throughout the City. Local restaurant Manducatis Rustica and pottery studio Brickhouse Ceramic have teamed up for an Empty Bowls fundraiser once again,…
The Workout Factory is closing, stems from real estate dispute
March 3, By Hannah Wulkan
A popular fitness center in Long Island City is closing its doors after two years in business. The Workout Factory, a popular gym offering Pilates and fitness classes at 10-25 48th Avenue, will shut down on April 1 after losing its space due to a dispute over the building ownership.…
Carolyn Maloney to join Hunters Point Civic Association next week for a town hall-style meeting
March 3, By Hannah Wulkan
A community meeting will give LIC residents the chance to share concerns with their political representative. The monthly Hunters Point Civic Association meeting on March 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the New York Irish Center at 10-24 Jackson Avenue will function in part as a town hall meeting with Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.…
Gourmet Deli with upstairs bar opens on Vernon Blvd
March 2, By Christian Murray
A high-end gourmet deli with an upstairs bar opened on Vernon Boulevard today in the space that was formerly occupied by The Butcher Gourmet Deli. NU Look, located at 49-16 Vernon Blvd., consists of an extensive ground floor deli,…
BIA temporarily closed by Health Dept. for unsanitary conditions
March 2, Staff Report
A trendy Vietnamese restaurant in Long Island City has been temporarily shut down by the Health Department for unsanitary conditions. Bia, a Vietnamese restaurant at 23-10 Jackson Avenue that opened nearly two years ago, was closed yesterday by the Health Department for racking up 49 violation points during an inspection.…
Have your art displayed on a billboard in LIC, Socrates Sculpture Park seeks proposals
March 1, By Hannah Wulkan
Socrates Sculpture Park is offering the chance for community members to have their art displayed on a giant billboard at the intersection of Vernon Blvd and Broadway in Astoria. In a recent announcement, the park announced an open call for proposals for new art centered on the topic of democracy and American identity,…
Masso on Vernon Blvd closes, business listed for $350K
February 28, By Hannah Wulkan
A popular LIC restaurant has shut down and the business is now for sale. Masso, an Italian restaurant at 47-25 Vernon Boulevard, shut down last month after more than a decade in business. According to a broker for the business,…
NYPD: Man attempts to rob bank in Queens Plaza, leaves empty-handed
February 28, Staff Report
Police are searching for a man who tried to rob a bank in Long Island City last week. According to the report, a man entered the Chase Bank at 25-15 Queens Plaza last Wednesday at about 1:10 pm and passed the teller a note demanding money.…
7-train weekend service between Queensboro Plaza and Hudson Yards to be down in March
February 27, Staff Report
Weekend 7-train service between Queensboro Plaza and 34th Street-Hudson Yards will be down for the month of March. The MTA announced that the closures are needed to test the new communications system it is installing.…
Attorneys from LIC Law Firm Discuss Asylum and Immigration Matters at Citywide Legal Conference
Staff Report
With the recent restrictions imposed on migrants who attempted to travel into Queens airports from seven specific countries this winter, representatives from the Law Office of Usman B. Ahmad (UBA) in Long Island City convened with more than 300 attorneys to address related legal matters at the 2017 Asylum and Immigration Conference at the New York Law School earlier this month.…
Kite flying demonstration at Socrates Sculpture Park tomorrow
February 24, By Hannah Wulkan
An art exhibition is taking flight in Long Island City tomorrow. Artist Dylan Gauthier, whose work titled Accidental Flight
involving many kites tethered together that is on display at Socrates Sculpture Park,…
Taco joint with an upscale twist opens on Thomson Avenue
February 23, By Hannah Wulkan
A new taco joint opened up in Long Island City earlier this week, offering tacos with fillings from around the world created by a Michelin-starred chef. The fast-casual taco shop Unico, located at 31-31 Thomson Avenue,…
Court Square non-profit offers low-cost legal services
February 23, By Hannah Wulkan
A year-old experimental program based out of a local law school is looking to create more affordable legal services in an effort to bridge the “Justice Gap.” The Court Square Law Project, working out of space within the CUNY Law School at 2 Court Square,…
Police looking for man who allegedly groped woman on E-train
February 23, Staff Report
Police are searching for a man who allegedly groped a woman against her will on a Queens-bound E train last weekend. According to the report, both the suspect and the 46-year-old victim were on an E train between Queens Plaza and Roosevelt Avenue on Saturday around 5:24 p.m.…
Local legislators introduce bill to reform how AMI is calculated for ‘affordable housing’
February 22, By Christian Murray
Two Queens legislators have introduced a bill that would change how ‘affordability’ is determined for affordable housing developments. State Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblyman Brian Barnwell have introduced legislation that would require developers to calculate who qualifies for affordable housing based on the average median income (AMI) of the zip code where the project is built.…

In the Spotlight