“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost,” begins a recent post on the Instagram account of Tartine Bakery co-founder Chad Robertson. The text accompanies a photo of a hooded sweatshirt that reads, “Tartine United, Free Teams Independent 2002–2020.” In other words, keep the bakery independent — free of union influence.
In case the message wasn’t clear enough, Robertson also includes, as part of the same post, the entirety of the statement he and co-founder Elisabeth Prueitt issued last week, outlining the reasons they oppose their workers’ efforts to unionize.
In fact, Robertson shows off in a series of Instagram posts what appears to be an entire line of anti-union Tartine merchandise: In one, Robertson himself appears to model a similar shirt that reads “Tartine Free Teams United”; another shows a surf-style long-sleeve T-shirt with the same text, superimposed on a image of hands kneading bread.
It’s unclear whether the swag in the posts is actually official Tartine apparel that is available for purchase by the general public, or if they’re just shirts that Robertson created for his own personal use as part of unusually public messaging against unionization. Eater reached out to Tartine for comment but has not received a response as of publication time.
Either way, what seems clear is that Tartine’s founders are digging in their heels against what they believe to be an unnecessary bid on the part of their workers to join the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The workers will officially vote on whether to join the union later this week, on Thursday at the three San Francisco locations, and Friday at the Berkeley location.