Former union market worker says company poisoned workers
A viral TikToker who used to work at Union Market in Richmond, Virginia, says the company poisoned her, her colleagues and customers with mustard gas.
The TikToker @bbghoulie says Union Market Management “forced” them to continue working in the toxic conditions. They say they have permanent lung scars from “toxic inhalation of a deadly gas,” which they say is the mustard gas they inhaled while working at the company. Sulfur mustard is “a man-made chemical warfare agent” that causes blistering of the skin and mucous membranes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“It’s really cool, that’s why I’m living with it for the rest of my life,” says the TikToker of his lung disease.
In the video’s caption, they add: “Please help me hold Union Market in Richmond, Virginia accountable for their abuse. it’s been like this for far too long. They’re trying to silence me and other ex-employees (and current employees) but it won’t work.”
@bbghoulie, please help me hold Union Market in Richmond, Virginia accountable for their abuse. it’s been like this for far too long. They are trying to silence me and other ex-employees (and current employees) but it won’t work. #unionmarket #rva ♬ Original sound – Bb Ghoulie
The TikToker claims Union Market promised to compensate them for the health risks, but they never did. When TikToker stopped, the company owners said they would pay for their healthcare retrospectively — but they didn’t either, TikToker says.
They allege that one of the company’s owners recently said he wouldn’t pay healthcare bills and told TikToker to “get his lawyer.”
In addition to the dangerous health environment, TikTokers said they experienced sexual harassment from Union Market management. They say they were “grabbed and fondled” and “whispered inappropriate things”. The TikToker adds that they felt they couldn’t call the harasser because it was one of the company owners.
“I think the implications of all this are that for years the owners have gotten away with things and have demonized any employees who try to speak out,” says the TikToker in the video. “I feel like it’s my duty and responsibility to speak up because they’ve blocked me on everything, they’ve blocked other people who’ve spoken out against them, they’ve blocked anyone who says, ‘Hey, you did an abusive thing. and we want you to take responsibility.’”
The TikToker urges its followers and viewers to show their support and says it plans to take the matter and the company owners to court.
Viewers expressed their sympathy and outrage on behalf of TikToker, but some were crushed by their claims of inhaling mustard gas.
“I don’t know what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn’t MUSTARD GAS???? HELLO?????????” commented one viewer.
“Sorry MUSTARD GAS??? This is NOT where I thought this was going oh my god please please sue and take care of yourself,” commented another.
Others encouraged TikToker to take legal action.
“Find a labor law attorney. you and your colleagues. They were injured on the job and they must be held accountable,” said one user.
Another advised: “Hi, you should contact your state’s labor department and also file a complaint with the attorney general. Make sure you keep clear documentation.”
The Daily Dot reached out to the creator via TikTok comment and Union Market via email.
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*Initial publication: March 11, 2023 10:07 am CST
Cecilia Lenzen is a freelance writer for the Daily Dot.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/union-market-poisoned-workers-mustard-gas/ Former union market worker says company poisoned workers