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Tate’s Bake Shop Workers Allegedly Threatened With Deportation Due to Unionization Efforts

Plus, NYC restaurateurs eagerly look forward to next boost of federal aid — and more intel

A supermarket shelf stocked with green bags of Tate’s Bake Shop cookies
Tate’s Bake Shop cookies
Anatoliy Tesouro/Shutterstock

Tate’s Bake Shop allegedly threatening to deport workers trying to unionize

Long Island-based cookie brand Tate’s Bake Shop is allegedly threatening to deport workers who are trying to unionize, News 12 in Long Island reports.

Employees tell the news station that the company, which largely employs undocumented workers at its Southampton shop, has been harassing staffers and “telling them that if their documents are not in order and they attempted to join the labor union they would get deported,” says Cosmo Lubrano, the president of the Eastern States Joint Board of the International Union of Allied, Novelty and Production Workers. It is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act for a company to harass workers attempting to unionize.

According to a Gothamist report, employees had been talking about unionizing prior to the pandemic, but efforts ramped up last summer. Employees allegedly weren’t offered adequate support during the pandemic, including clarity around paid time off to self-quarantine, and access to safety equipment, which further fueled interest in unionization.

Snack behemoth Mondelez, which acquired Tate’s Bake Shop in a $500 million deal in 2018, said in a statement to News 12 that the allegations of worker harassment due to unionization efforts are “untrue.” Workers have until April 21st to vote on whether or not to unionize.

In other news

— Following news of the impending closure of Union Square’s Food Emporium (to be replaced by a Target), Grub Street’s Rachel Sugar makes the case for why New York City’s dark, crammed grocery stores play a significant role in the city’s ecosystem.

— Former Bohemian chef Tadaaki Iwaki is popping up at Niche Niche this Sunday and Monday with a Japanese izakaya-influenced menu that’s a hint of what’s to come from Iwaki’s upcoming first restaurant debut, Shaku, in Queens.

— Una Pizza Napoletana is partnering with New Jersey Italian spot Birravino on a takeout menu this Saturday that includes a meatball pizza ($22), a romaine, salami, and provolone salad ($14), and a Sicilian almond chocolate cake ($10). Orders can be placed over the phone with Una Pizza Napoletana; pick-ups start at 2 p.m. tomorrow.

— Independent NYC restaurateurs are eagerly eyeing the next influx of federal aid, which will include direct grants for small restaurants in this round.

— It’s true:

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