- Tate’s Bake Shop, known for its chocolate chip cookie, has been a Hamptons staple for decades.
- Employees says management has threatened them with deportation ahead of their union vote.
- A majority of Tate’s 450 workers are undocumented immigrants, who are protected under US labor laws.
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Employees at Tate’s Bake Shop in Long Island, New York, said management threatened them with deportation over their attempts to unionize, local outlet News 12 reported Wednesday.
Tate’s, located in Southampton, is famous for its chocolate chip cookie and has been a staple in the Hamptons for decades. It was locally owned by its founder, Kathleen King, until 2018 when it was sold to food giant Mondelez International for $500 million.
Through an interpreter, employees told News 12 that they are being harassed at work, and that management has threatened to call Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The employees asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.
“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.
Tate’s has about 450 employees, most of which are undocumented immigrants, according to Gothamist.
Per the National Labor Relations Act, harassment in response to unionization efforts is illegal, and workers are protected under the act regardless of their immigration status.
“Any allegation that the company has violated any aspect of the National Labor Relations Act is untrue,” a spokesperson for Mondelez International told News 12. “Tate’s prides itself on treating all its employees with respect, and we have fostered over many years an inclusive, supportive, caring work environment and culture with our employees.”
Union organizers told Gothamist that Tate’s also hired an anti-union consultant to thwart their unionization efforts.
Employees will receive ballots later this month and have until April 21 to cast their vote on whether to unionize.
Insider has reached out to Tate’s and Mondelez for comment.
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