Statement on Tom Cat Bakery Strike and Lockdown
Statement on Tom Cat Bakery Strike and Lockdown:
Early Friday morning four Tom Cat Bakery worker allies–including three members of MACC–laid under and chained themselves to Tom Cat delivery trucks in solidarity with the Immigrant Workers Strike “A Day Without Bread.” All four were arrested and taken to Queens Central Booking approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes after law enforcement arrived and dislodged the PVC and chicken wire. MACC media filmed the successful disruption of early morning deliveries and more MACC members provided jail support until arrestees were released Friday evening.
A 6 am rally was held following the arrests in support of the strike against Tom Cat for terminating employment of dozens of people; many are immigrants who have worked for the company for one or two decades.
These workers were threatened with termination a month ago, through the Department of Homeland Security and ICE, and were told to provide new working papers within ten days. In response workers and their allies, including Brandworkers, labor unions, and various media, activist, and anarchist groups have fought back.
In light of the public pressure, the company extended the deadline to Friday, April 21st; However, Tom Cat Bakery failed to renegotiate the severance package offered to those facing unjust termination: one week pay for every year worked. Considering most of the targeted immigrant workers have been at Tom Cat for over a decade, are now facing immediate unemployment and incredible uncertainty of finding new work, this severance package is unjust and unreasonable. The bakery has yet to provide another paperwork extension.
On behalf of MACC, we want to send a very special thank you to the brave people facing immediate unemployment who stood up for their rights even when facing possible deportation. We admire your courage and we are proud to stand by you. We commend the four allies who put their bodies on the line to take action where immigrant workers could not, due to heightened discriminatory threats and possibility of violent treatment, detention, and immediate deportation. Let us continue to combat DHS and ICE’s oppressive and discriminatory tactics through disruptive direct action.