Treasure Island workers protest over treatment by closing grocery store chain

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Treasure Island workers held a demonstration Monday over their treatment by the closing grocery store chain.

Workers said they were blindsided by the announcement that stores would be closing by the end of the week, leaving them stranded and struggling.

Outraged workers held the rally to send a message to management at Treasure Island, put the public pressure on and call out what they believe are shady business practices.

Current and former Treasure Island workers chanted and marched at the grocery chain's store and headquarters in the 3400-block of North Broadway in the Lakeview neighborhood. They had empty treasure chests at the rally symbolizing their loss of income.

Treasure Island announced it would start closing all seven locations by this Friday.

Workers said there were given nearly no notice when the announcement was made at the end of September and are reporting that Treasure Island abruptly stopped payment on their health insurance leaving hundreds of workers without coverage.

Those workers along with the workers' rights organization Aris Chicago demanded that Treasure Island should pay 60 days' wages and health insurance immediately.

"It is shocking to learn that Treasure Island has left their workers stranded without notice, without paychecks," said C.J. Hawking, Arise Chicago executive director.

"People live check by check, and for Treasure Island to do this to us with no notification, with no pay, it's unfair," said Treasure Island Sandra Roman.

The workers said the Illinois Warrant Act states that employers with over 75 workers must provide 60 days' notice of closing or 60 days' wages to their workers.

The longtime Chicago grocery chain is also being sued by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union for allegedly violating a federal law that governs lay-off notices.

ABC7 has reached out to Treasure Island management and the operations manager had no comment.
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