Tate’s Supervisors Threaten to Deport Undocumented Immigrants

Angela Gardella, Writer

On March 10th, 2021, News 12 reported that Tate’s Bake Shop, originating in Southampton, had threatened workers with deportation if they were to unionize. Tate’s was previously owned by Kathleen King, who used to sell her homemade cookies at her father’s farm in the 70’s. In 2018, Kathleen sold Tate’s Bake Shop to Mondelez, one of the world’s largest snack companies, for $500,000,000

          Most of Tate’s 450 employees are undocumented immigrants. Tate’s went as far as hiring an anti-unionizing consultant and threatening to call ICE in an attempt to stop employees unionizing efforts. Cosmo Lubrano, Eastern States Joint Board president, claims that once supervisors heard of employees looking to unionize, they began threatening them with deportation. Lubrano mentioned that this is illegal under the National Labor Relations Act, which explicitly states, “Although employers must obey immigration laws, if you choose to talk to or take action with your co-workers to improve your working conditions, it is illegal for your employer to use your immigration status against you.” The National Labor Relations Act was enacted by Congress in 1935 in order to protect the rights of both employees and employers. It guarantees that employers and employees communicate in a civil manner, and it protects the rights of undocumented immigrants working within the states. 

Most employees at Tate’s say that they don’t feel comfortable or happy in their workplace because of the harassment. They are nervous to face the repercussions of trying to unionize and  scared that if they are not allowed to unionize, or if they don’t meet the amount of votes needed, that they’ll continue to be threatened and possibly be deported. Employees have chosen to keep their identities a secret in hopes that Tate’s itself and the general public won’t lash back at them. 

A representative for Tate’s Bake Shop said that the accusations are completely false and “have no basis in fact.” Another spokesperson, Laurie Guzzinati, wrote an email to FOX Business saying, “While we respect such rights, we hope that employees base their decision on facts and accurate information related to our business, which has been valued, a proud part of Eastern Long Island community for more than two decades.”