Tate's Bake Shop allegedly threatened undocumented workers with deportation if they unionized
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Tate’s Bake Shop in New York reportedly threatened undocumented workers with deportation if they voted to unionize.

Employees told local news outlets in New York that some of them are being harassed, and also alleged that they are working in unsafe conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Some told News 12 in Long Island that management has threatened to call Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

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Cosmo Lubrano, president of the Eastern States Joint Board, told News 12 that management "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.”

Lubrano further told a local ABC affiliate that the company threatened that the union would ask workers for their “documents” and deport them.

“They began telling them that if you unionize, the union is going to ask for documents,” Lubrano told ABC 7. “And if you don't have the proper documents, they're going to ... deport you and send you back to your country.”

The reports come as workers at Tate’s are preparing to vote on joining AFL-CIO Local 298, according to ABC 7. The union vote is scheduled occur at the end of the month.

A spokesperson for Mondelez, which owns Tate’s, told The Hill in a statement that 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 [National Labor Relations Board]-conducted election process, which is currently underway,” the spokesperson said, adding that “any allegation that the company has violated any aspect of the National Labor Relations Act is untrue.

The Hill has reached out to the AFL-CIO for comment.  

The NLRB says that regardless of immigration status, employees can organize with a union, talk about working conditions and take action to improve working conditions. Employees can report attempts by management to use immigration status for retaliatory purposes.