When Fresh Seasons Markets in Victoria and Glen Lake, Minn., closed a year ago, owner Tom Wartman failed to pay his employees the vacation and personal-holiday pay they had earned. Now, the Victoria store has reopened and the Glen Lake store will soon reopen. Both stores will open under slightly changed names and the former Fresh Seasons workers, members of UFCW Local 653, are holding their former boss accountable.
Together with activists and members of their old union, they are holding the line to get the money they are owed. They’ve been appealing to members of their community to not shop at the “new” stores and putting pressure on their old boss to pay them the money they are owed – along with his unpaid debts for their health insurance and retirement funds.
Fresh Seasons workers worked hard to make their company successful – even taking pay freezes to help Fresh Seasons thrive. They were repaid with unpaid debts and their owner, Tom Wartman, bought himself a nine bedroom vacation home in Hawaii worth more than a million dollars.
“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,” said UFCW Local 653 President Matt Utecht.