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Laid-Off Workers Sue Closed San Jose Hispanic Market

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(AP)

MattBigler20100909_KCBS_0384r Matt Bigler
KCBS's Matt Bigler started as a reporter/anchor in 2004, and is now...
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SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A group of former grocery store workers in San Jose is filing a lawsuit against a now-defunct chain of supermarkets. The laid off employees claim “Su Vianda” owes them, and the city of San Jose, hundreds of thousands of dollars.

KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Last June, Su Vianda abruptly closed its two stores in San Jose, telling workers they no longer had jobs the day of the closure.

”The day they were let go they were told ‘here is your paycheck, by the way we’re only paying you 25 percent of whatever you earned the last few weeks,’ and that’s all they got,” said Gerardo Dominguez with the Justice for Mercado Workers Coalition.

He said the workers are now suing Su Vianda’s parent company, Kimomex, for more than $200,000 in unpaid wages.

Mark Terbeek, the coalition’s attorney, alleges that Kimomex was a shell corporation set up to fleece workers and the city of San Jose for $500,000 in economic development money.

”They are a defunct corporation that basically did not comply with any corporate formalities, and therefore is the alter-ego of its board of directors, its parent companies and its shareholders,” said Terbeek.

Kimomex’s former CEO, Al Lujan, did not return calls seeking comment.

The workers would like the city to join in the suit, but they haven’t yet, saying that they need more time to see if there is a case.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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