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    Best Market Worker Stories

    Selden

October 5, 2018

Ray Warnken

Ray WarnkenMy name is Ray Warnken.

I worked at Best Market in Selden. I started working there in Feb 2017. I began working there in hopes of making a career for myself as so many grocery workers on Long Island have before. I figured that Best Market is a growing company, and I could have a good future with them. I worked there for around a year and a half. Just like so many of my coworkers, I learned that Best Market just doesn’t value their workers like other grocery stores do.

I used to get 40 hours per week. For no apparent reason, management started cutting my hours to as low as 10 hours per week. I was working in the seafood department. I was filling in for the department manager because I was promised bonus pay. I did this for two months and they never gave me the bonus pay they promised.

…I had to sell my possessions so I could buy my six year old daughter a birthday gift.

I won’t ever forget when I had to sell my possessions so I could buy my six year old daughter a birthday gift. I’ll also never forget the time that my dad had a heart attack and went to the hospital. I called my manager to tell him I had to miss work to go to the hospital. My manager threatened to fire me.

I’ve moved on to another grocery store. I’m making a better life for myself. While I was at Best Market though, I was part of the movement to make Best Market a better place to work. We had victories. We were all united and were able to get the company to pay premium pay on holidays for the first time in the company’s history. Our movement has to continue. Long Island can’t afford to have companies like Best Market grow on the backs of their workers. If we let them do that, one day there won’t be good grocery jobs left for people like me. Together though, we can make Best Market meet our Long Island standards.

September 7, 2018

Dale Roesch

Dale RoeschMy name is Dale Roesch.

I’ve been working at Best Market since 2016. I work at the Selden store in the seafood department. I work hard every day and care about our customers.  Some customers tell me that they shop with us just because I work here.

In the two years working here, Best Market has only given me a total of 50 cents in raises. I am listed as full time, but sometimes I get part time hours. Sometimes, my rent takes up my entire paycheck. I can’t contribute to my 401k. I also can’t afford Best Market’s healthcare on the wages they pay. I have three grandchildren who live in Florida. I can’t afford to go visit them. It hurts to know that one grandchild of mine, I have never seen in person.

I know of other Best Market workers who also have not had safety training. An accident like what happened to me can be deadly. I don’t want anybody to get hurt at Best Market.

My biggest worry about Best Market is that they do not do chemical safety training with many of their employees. We were understaffed one day so I was assigned a double shift. At the end of the day I was told to clean my department because the CEO was coming to visit. Using cleaning supplies from the store, I mixed bleach with a cleaner which I didn’t know contained ammonia.

I had to go to the hospital and stay there overnight. Permanent damage was done to my throat and lungs. I know of other Best Market workers who also have not had safety training. An accident like what happened to me can be deadly. I don’t want anybody to get hurt at Best Market.

Best Market should give us a livable wage, constant hours and proper safety training. Do better Best Market.

August 31, 2018

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas VerticalMy name is Mike Thomas.

I have many years of experience working in grocery stores as a lead in the seafood department. I have always enjoyed what I do and worked hard at it. The job had always provided a stable living for me and my family. In 2016, During Best Markets rapid expansion, I wound up having to take a job as Seafood team lead at Selden Best Market.

This job was unlike any other seafood job I ever had. I was bringing home around half of what I was earning at my previous grocery store. My 70 year old mother had to get a part time job so we could continue to make mortgage payments which I previously could afford.

…I haven’t been able to work for nearly a year. I worry every day about how I will support my 6 year old daughter.

It was a struggle every day to pay the bills, when things went from bad to worse. Management at Best Market was told about an open grate in my department, but they didn’t fix it. I got my foot caught in it and broke a bone. I had to get surgery on my foot, and I haven’t been able to work for nearly a year. I worry every day about how I will support my 6 year old daughter.

I want Best Market to provide fair wages and a safe job for all workers. We all work so hard to make this a successful company, and that’s the least we deserve.

August 24, 2018

David Ness

David NessI am David Ness.

I’ve been an employee for Best Market for almost 4 years now. I work at the Selden store. I love our customers and I like to do everything I can to make their shopping experience the best. I’m happy to help in any department that needs me.  I’ve worked in maintenance, in seafood, and as a porter.

Last year, Best Market put me in the worst situation of my life. I was working full time at the store. My wages were low, but I was able to just scrape by. I couldn’t understand why more people were being hired at my store, while they were cutting the hours of longer term workers like me. Even though I was willing to work in any department, at any time, I just wasn’t getting the hours I needed to pay the bills. I couldn’t believe that I wound up homeless.

Even though I was willing to work in any department, at any time, I just wasn’t getting the hours I needed to pay the bills. I couldn’t believe that I wound up homeless.

I never thought that I would have to stay up all night at the shopping center where I worked. I went with almost no sleep for days. I spent much of the night looking for a safe place to stay.  My feet hurt so much in the morning, that I was barely able to stand at work. Instead of giving me more hours, my manager only said, “Dave you need to shave if you are going to work here.”

I’m now living in a shelter. I am thankful to have a roof over my head. With all the work I do for Best Market though, if they could give consistent hours and a fair wage, I would be able to rent a place of my own.