Tate’s Bake Shop employees at the Long Island-based cookie shop say the company is threatening undocumented workers with firing or deportation if they unionize.
Employees said they were being threatened by management, alleging that the company was harassing people based on their immigration status and claiming that if they tried to unionize, they would risk getting deported if undocumented, local outlet News 12 reported Wednesday. Employees spoke on anonymity through an interpreter, telling the outlet that management threatened to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
"They began threatening people based on their immigration status, telling them that if their documents are not in order and they attempted to join the labor union they would get deported," Cosmo Lubrano, president of Eastern States Joint Board union, told News 12.
A spokesperson for Tate’s Bake Shop told FOX Business the accusations are “inaccurate and have no basis in fact.”
“Our employees have the right to decide for themselves whether they desire to be union-represented in an NLRB-conducted election process, which is currently underway,” Laurie Guzzinati, a spokesperson for Tate’s told FOX Business in an email. “While we respect such rights, we hope that employees base their decision on facts and accurate information related to our business, which has been a valued, proud part the Eastern Long Island community for more than two decades.”
Tate’s was locally run for decades after it was founded by Kathleen King in 1980. The company, known for its chocolate chip cookies, was purchased by snack food giant Mondelez International in 2018 for $500 million.
Employees have until April 21 to vote on whether they want to unionize or not.