April 21, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan
Four people were arrested after chaining themselves to delivery trucks outside of Tom Cat Bakery in Long Island City to protest the firings of 31 immigrant workers following an ICE investigation.
Instead of working their final shift at Tom Cat Bakery at 43-05 10th Street this morning, many workers chose to protest for immigrant worker rights outside.
Early this morning four people chained themselves to delivery trucks outside the bakery before they were arrested, delaying morning deliveries from the bakery and kicking off the “Day Without Bread” protest.
Today’s protest comes about a month after workers at Tom Cat were threatened with mass termination if they could not produce new paperwork proving their right to work in the United States as part of a government investigation in to the bakery.
Since then, workers have launched several protests, which will culminate with a mass strike on May 1 to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and to demand better protection for immigrant workers.
“The New York Immigration Coalition is proud to stand with Tom Cat Bakery workers as they bravely resist the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrants and workers’ rights,” said Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “Our fight with them does not end today. This May Day, we are bringing together allies and thousands of New Yorkers to fight back against the bigotry and hate we see coming out of Washington.”
The protest today is an effort to encourage businesses and customers not to serve or consume bread all day in solidarity with the workers losing their jobs, and several local restaurants and businesses have thrown support behind the cause.
In addition to standing against Trump’s policies, the protesters are also demanding fair severance packages for the laid off workers and are standing against the company punishing employees for standing against the ICE investigation after a longtime employee was fired yesterday for helping organize protesters.
“The Trump administration may want us to quietly disappear, but we’re not going away silently,” said Henry Rivera, a Tom Cat Bakery worker. “We’re on strike today to send a message that we help make America great and we cannot just be thrown away like day-old bread.”