When Fresh Seasons Markets in Victoria and Glen Lake closed a year ago, owner Tom Wartman failed to pay his employees the vacation and personal-holiday pay they had earned, their union alleges.
Local 653 of the United Food and Commercial Workers has taken legal action to recoup workers’ pay, and the union’s Health, Welfare and Pension Fund trustees are suing Fresh Seasons to recover benefit contributions never paid.
In the meantime, Wartman has teamed with local investors who own the Victoria and Glen Lake properties to reopen the stores under new names: Victoria’s Market and Glen Lake’s Market.
It’s a move Wartman’s former employees aren’t watching silently.
As the stores opened their doors this month, workers and their supporters were on hand to distribute fliers denouncing Wartman’s failure to pay them what they’re owed, Local 653 President Matt Utecht said in a public letter.
“If Tom Wartman wants the stores to reopen with community support, he should start by doing right by those community members who used to work for him,” Utecht said.