Private Equity Owners of Tom Cat Bakery Choose Attacks on Brandworkers Over Cooperation wtih Employees
Tom Cat is the leading artisanal bakery in New York City and was once considered a responsible employer. That changed after the company was bought out by wealthy private equity investors in Texas and Illinois. The new owners from Ancor Capital and Merit Capital protected a highly abusive manager, launched two well-coordinated attacks on worker health care, and maintained a fraudulent scheme to undercompensate a group of workers by paying them through a company that no longer exists.
After months of training and strategic planning, truck drivers at Tom Cat who are members of Focus on the Food Chain marched to the plant and submitted a Declaration of Dignity to management. In response to determined action from organized workers, the company removed the abusive manager and backed off from attempts to degrade family health benefits. Two out of the three issues in the Declaration of Dignity had been achieved and workers were hopeful that the company would remedy the third issue - the fraudulent pay scheme.
However, instead of reclaiming its socially responsible history, Tom Cat's private equity owners have launched a negative campaign of threats, intimidation, and falsehoods against Brandworkers, which along with the NYC Industrial Workers of the World, leads Focus on the Food Chain. And incredibly, this fast growing company whose owners control hundreds of millions of dollars in diverse assets, are wrongfully claiming that the company is too vulnerable for workers to participate in a workplace justice campaign. Most objectionably, the company is implying that workers' families will be harmed if workers stay organized to protect their rights and struggle for a fair workplace. Workers will not be intimidated by the false claims of Tom Cat as its private equity owners reap millions. They will stay organized because only as organized workers will Tom Cat treat them with the respect they deserve.