The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Foxtrot Grocery Store Workers Blindsided

May 6, 2024

On April 23, without prior notification, 33 Foxtrot and Dom’s Market stores in Chicago, Austin, Dallas, and the Washington, D.C. area suddenly closed their doors and terminated over 1000 workers on the spot.

There was no forewarning of any kind—no individual management discussions, not even an email notification. Around noon that day, the store’s computer system suddenly went dark. Workers and customers were instructed to leave the stores immediately. Workers were shocked and outraged. The capitalist owners left them high and dry, cheating them out of paychecks and benefits they were owed. One Foxtrot café worker had just been hired, and April 23rd was his first day. He had worked less than four hours when co-workers informed him they had all been terminated. Workers were given no time to prepare and look for new employment, no time to adjust family plans and no time to figure out how to pay rent, food, and all their other bills.

It was all part of a well-orchestrated plan of Outfit Hospitality, the parent company of the stores, which had applied for Chapter 7 bankruptcy just four days earlier. The shutdown was designed to steal earned wages and cheat workers out of severance pay, health care, and other benefits, all to help finance a corporate reorganization designed to boost profits.

Some federal and state laws are supposed to limit corporate actions like this. Most require companies to provide 60-day notice with severance pay for mass layoffs or firings. But loopholes allow “creative” and “nimble” capitalists to bypass such obstacles.

But the workers have begun to fight back to get what’s theirs. They gathered in a rally outside company offices to demand back what had been stolen from them. Further organizing together is necessary to continue the fight.