NYC Bakeries Are Fighting Trump's Policies With "A Day Without Bread"
It's the latest move by workers and businesses to make a statement about immigrants.
It's been a year of days without—a day without immigrants, a day without women, and now, we face a day without bread. Across New York City, many bakeries and cafes will refuse to sell their breads and baguettes today, the latest protest against President Donald Trump's policies that threaten immigrants around the country.
Sponsored by labor advocacy group Brandworkers, the day without bread comes on the heels of a popular Queens bakery, Tom Cat Bakery, putting 30 of its immigrant employees on notice: employees identified by the Department of Homeland Security as without legal immigration papers had a couple weeks to gather documents, but most are expected to be fired by the bakery today. At last count, only 11 workers could produce the paperwork needed to stay. (Before you start attacking the bakery, know it faces steep fines or even an ICE raid if it fails to comply with the DHS order.)
In protest, the employees and supporters took to the streets outside the bakery, located on 10th Street, to march from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. They asked other bakeries and carb lovers alike to take a stand, too, by refusing to sell or buy bread for the day.
The day is being dubbed "A Day Without Bread," and is a way "to protest the Trump administration's inhumane clampdown on immigrants," according to a statement.
For employees who will be fired today, Tom Cat Bakery has offered a severance package that includes a week's pay for every year of service, 90 days of continued health insurance coverage, and permission to use any remaining vacation or sick days. But Brandworkers has said it isn't enough for the many employees who've given the bakery some 10 to 20 years of dedicated service.
Interestingly, the DHS investigation and audit began in January under the Obama administration. But Trump's immigration policies and outspoken distaste for immigrant workers is what's garnering the ire of NYC bakers and workers today. Most recently, his administration has made noise about kicking some 50,000 Haitian immigrants out of the U.S. by January, a move that's already been met with outrage.