Brandworkers members at Tom Cat Bakery, one of New York City's largest industrial bakeries, are campaigning to win respect at work after an aggressive attempt by the factory's new private equity owners to degrade their jobs.
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 maintain 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.
Thank you for your support, the workers hit their petition goal of 500 signatures - and exceeded it - a day early! With your continued solidarity, Tom Cat workers will press on until their rights are respected!
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!
Members of Focus on the Foodchain at a large industrial bakery called Tom Cat launch a campaign to win respect at work in the face of an aggressive campaign by the factory's new private equity owners to degrade their jobs.
Members of Focus on the Food Chain at one of New York City's largest industrial bakeries launched a campaign on Wednesday to win respect at work in the face of an aggressive attempt by the factory's new private equity owners to degrade their jobs. Drivers at Queens-based Tom Cat Bakery, a leading supplier of artisanal breads to many of the New York metro area's finest restaurants and gourmet food retailers, are forced to work under a highly abusive manager and are being threatened with severe health care cutbacks.
The Tom Cat workers, mostly Latin American immigrants, gathered yesterday in Long Island City with worker and student allies representing a variety of groups including the Occupy Wall Street Immigrant Worker Justice Working Group, Food Chain Workers Alliance, Jornaleros Unidos de Woodside, the Laundry Workers Center, the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York, and Domestic Workers United.