Hot and Crusty

Organizers outside Hot & Crusty

The Hot & Crusty Campaign is an example of independent organizing to fight for better terms and conditions of employment. The mostly immigrant workers at Hot & Crusty won a historic contract through 11 months of intense organizing and almost two months on the picket line, demonstrating that real changes are possible when workers decide to fight together in the workplace. These workers organized outside the structures of traditional labor unions and were backed by a variety of community organizations, including Laundry Workers Center. The Hot & Crusty Workers Association has been a source of inspiration for other fast food campaigns.


January 21, 2012:
The Hot & Crusty Campaign goes public after months of underground organizing. Workers from Hot & Crusty deliver a demand letter to management with support from the community in an LWC Day of Action.

April 26, 2012:
LWC members and Hot & Crusty workers speak in the Immigration and Labor Press Conference for OWS May Day, along with others in the May Day Coalition.

May, 1, 2012:
Laundry Workers Center members participate in a May 1st Rally in favor of immigrant and workers’ rights.

May 23, 2012:
Victory! The Hot & Crusty Workers win their union election at the National Labor Relations Board and the Hot & Crusty Workers Association is officially recognized.

August 20, 2012:
Hot & Crusty management gives the Hot & Crusty Workers Association 11 days notice that they are closing the store.

August 31, 2012:
On the day that management plans to shut down the 63rd St. Hot & Crusty, Occupy Wall Street members occupy the store for several hours and six “Job Defenders” are arrested. Workers and community members picket and leaflet around the neighborhood. The store is closed and workers locked out.

September 3, 2012:
Workers set up a “Worker Justice Cafe” on the sidewalk outside of the store. Coffee and baked goods are donated by community supporters, including Zabar’s and others, and distributed free to passersby.

September 10, 2012:
While workers and community members continue to picket, a new group of investors promises to reopen the store, rehire terminated workers and resume bargaining with the union, the Hot and Crusty Workers Association. The new company proposes to reopen in 2 weeks, and workers commit to continue the picket until the store re-opens.

October 18, 2012:
Members of dozens of labor and immigrant rights rally in solidarity with the Hot and Crusty workers.

October 26, 2012:
Victory! After 55 days on the picket line, the Hot & Crusty Workers Association wins a three year contract guaranteeing many benefits

January 28, 2013
The original members of the Hot and Crusty Workers Association return to work alongside many new members, in a newly renovated Hot & Crusty store.

Learn More

7/16/2013 Waging Nonviolence: Hot and Crusty film featured in the New York Times
7/06/2013 Observer: Hot and Crusty Workers Land Their Own ‘Occupy Bakery’ Documentary
12/01/2012 Waging Nonviolence: A new face of the new labor movement
11/30/2012 The Local East Village: Ex-Hot and Crusty Workers Win Battle Uptown, but Still Fighting Downtown
11/21/2012 NB Media: Hot and Crusty workers return to work with a union and 3 year contract
11/02/2012 Workers' World: Historic victory for immigrant workers
10/26/2012 Hot And Crusty Workers Unions Demands Met With Precedent-setting 3-year Contract
9/10/2012 Workers And Community Declare Victory Against Hot and Crusty Store Closure; Agreement Reached To Rehire Workers, Recognize Union And Resume Bargaining
9/10/2012 Village Voice: Hot And Crusty Bakery Employees Go From Lockout To Victory In One Week
9/08/2012 Alternet: A New Leader Emerges in New York City's Labor Struggles 
9/08/2012 The Internationalist: “Hot and Crusty” Workers Show the Way
9/01/2012 Village Voice: Bakery Workers Occupy Hot & Crusty When Owner Closes It Down Rather Than Allow Union
8/31/2012 Labor Notes: New York Bakery Workers Fight Closure, Occupy Store
8/03/2012 Workers And Occupy Wall Street Fight Shop Closure; 24-hour Picket And Occupation Of Hot And Crusty Bakery Begins
5/24/2012 Fight Back News: Workers win union representation election at New York restaurant chain Hot and Crusty
4/19/2012 Waging Non-Violence: With eyes on May Day, OWS allies Escalate against Jefes
4/03/2012 Soundcloud: Entrevista con Laundry Workers Center