First Big Victory for Workers at Tom Cat Bakery
You heard our call for solidarity and you responded! We are thrilled to report that drivers at Tom Cat Bakery have won their first big victory!
For 13 years, Director of Distribution Walter Knox manipulated work hours, treated workers with contempt, and retaliated against those who dared speak up. Now after months of preparation and a series of decisive actions, the workers have won the removal of Knox from his post!
With your moving solidarity, the workers have achieved the first goal in the three-point Declaration of Dignity that they served on management in March. Focus members at Tom Cat have demonstrated the extraordinary power of workers getting organized and waging their own direct action campaigns for justice. However, though Knox has lost his authority over the drivers and workers are savoring this victory, he continues to collect a salary at Tom Cat and Focus members will remain vigilant for any additional misconduct on his part.
Given the intensity of Knox's abuses over the years, the drivers are exuberant at their victory and have moved directly towards achieving the second and third goals in their Declaration of Dignity: maintaining their health benefits and establishing equality for all drivers. The workers' resolve is strong and with your continued solidarity they will win! And we as a working class will win an economy that rewards hard work with dignity and respect, instead of low wages and insults.
New York City's food processing and distribution sector supports the livelihoods of 35,000 workers and their families, yet the sector is increasingly characterized by a business model that relies on low quality jobs and mistreatment of a largely immigrant workforce. Focus on the Food Chain members like the drivers at Tom Cat are challenging this business model in favor of good jobs and a sustainable local food system. The Focus campaign is a joint project of Brandworkers and the NYC Industrial Workers of the World labor union.
Thank you again for rising up with the Tom Cat workers and please stay with us as the march for justice continues. We did it!