At a popular deli on New York’s Upper East Side, customers get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. But behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers.
Mild-mannered sandwich maker Mahoma López has never been interested in politics, but in January 2012 he convinces a small group of his co-workers to fight back.
Risking deportation and the loss of livelihood, the workers team up with a diverse crew of innovative young organizers and take the unusual step of forming an independent union, launching themselves on a journey that will test the limits of their resolve.
In one rollercoaster year they must overcome a shocking betrayal and a two-month lockout. Lawyers will battle in backroom negotiations, Occupy Wall Street protesters will take over the restaurant, and a picket line will divide the neighborhood.
If they can win a contract, it will set a historic precedent for low-wage workers across the country. But whatever happens, Mahoma and his compañeros won’t be exploited again.