A viral TikToker who used to work at Union Market in Richmond, Virginia, says the company poisoned, them, their coworkers, and customers with mustard gas.
The TikToker @bbghoulie says Union Market management “forced” them to keep working through the poisonous conditions. They say they have permanent lung scarring due to “toxic inhalation of a deadly gas,” which they say is the mustard gas they inhaled while working at the company. Sulfur mustard is “a human-made chemical warfare agent” that causes blistering of the skin and mucous membranes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“So that’s really cool, I live with that for the rest of my life because of that,” the TikToker says of their lung condition.
In the video’s caption, they add, “please help me hold Union Market in Richmond, Virginia accountable for their abuse. this has gone on for far too long. They are trying to silence myself and other ex employees (and current employees) but it wont work.”
@bbghoulie please help me hold Union Market in Richmond, Virginia accountable for their abuse. this has gone on for far too long. They are trying to silence myself and other ex employees (and current employees) but it wont work. #unionmarket #rva ♬ original sound – Bb ghoulie
The TikToker claims Union Market promised to compensate them for the health risks but they never actually did. When the TikToker quit, the company owners said they would retroactively pay for their healthcare — but they didn’t do that either, the TikToker says.
They allege that one of the company owners recently said they wouldn’t be paying any health bills and told the TikToker to “catch his lawyer.”
In addition to the dangerous health environment, the TikToker says they experienced sexual harassment from management at Union Market. They say they were “grabbed and groped” and “whispered inappropriate things.” The TikToker adds that they felt like they couldn’t call out the harasser because it was one of the company owners.
“I think the implications in all of this is that the owners have been getting away with things for years and years and years and demonizing any employees who try to speak out,” the TikToker says in the video. “I feel like it’s my duty and responsibility to start speaking out because they have blocked me on everything, they have been blocking other people who have been speaking out against them, they block anyone who says, ‘Hey, you did an abusive thing, and we want you to take accountability.'”
The TikToker urges their followers and viewers to vocalize their support and says they plan to take the matter and the company owners to court.
Viewers expressed sympathy and outrage on the TikToker’s behalf, but several were floored by their claim of mustard gas inhalation.
“No clue what i was expecting but it definitely wasnt MUSTARD GAS???? HELLO????????” one viewer commented.
“I’m sorry, MUSTARD GAS??? That is NOT where I thought this was going, oh my god, please please sue and take care of yourself,” another commented.
Others encouraged the TikToker to pursue legal action.
“Find an employment lawyer. You and your fellow co-workers. You were injured on the job and they need to be held accountable,” one user said.
Another advised, “Hello, you should contact the labor board of your state, 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 to Union Market via email.