In July 2016, over 250 retail grocery and meat employees at Trading Company stores were informed that the company had been sold to Yoke’s Fresh Markets and that their jobs would be eliminated as of September 10, 2016. These form letters stated that the employees’ loyalty was “deeply appreciated” and that “the company’s foremost concern is to help our workers find other employment.”
Unfortunately, this was not true. Yoke’s Fresh Markets and Trading Company Stores executed a purchase agreement that explicitly stated that Yoke’s was not committed, required or obligated to hire any of Trading Company’s employees. All former Trading Company employees could apply for their own jobs just like anyone else off the street.
If they were lucky enough to be rehired for their own jobs, Yoke’s also refused to honor the hard-earned wages and benefits of the employees that were covered by a collective bargaining agreement. This meant that those employees lost the healthcare benefits, the pension retirement benefits, and the job security that they and their families relied on.
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