Catherine Black: Market Employees Demoralized & Scared

My name is Catherine Black and I am a former employee of New Seasons Market in Portland, Oregon.  (See story) I was employed at NS for six years in North Portland at one of the busiest stores they own.  After Endeavor Capital bought roughly 60% share of New Seasons, the store began to change drastically.  Departments were downsized, several departments were joined under one manager, not two.  Some managers had to reapply for their positions.  Pay guidelines changed, and the employees began to see a big decrease in raises. Profit share checks plummeted. There were constant safety concerns which were not met.  The number of accidents among workers increased.  Equipment needed replacing and it took a long time to see solutions.   Along with this, they cut staff, began trying new systems of production within departments.  On and on and on.

The employees were demoralized and scared.  We were constantly told we could talk to managers any time we needed to.  We were not listened to.  There was no change in the lack of support from our managers. We were also being watched more closely, especially if we complained about our store policies.
I left the store in June of 2016.  At the time I left, our department was down five staff members.  I worked in the deli.  The kitchen staff behind the deli was also down five staff members.  I approached the manager of the store to have a conversation about the frustration I and other employees felt (the HR person was on vacation).  After a lengthy conversation, I was told to “work harder.”  I was 70 years old at the time and I took that as an insult.  I resigned on the spot.  I cleared out my locker and left the store.
New Seasons talks the talk; they do not follow through with action.  They do not support their workers in a healthy way.  Endeavor Capital is the boss, they are in it to make money for the investors.  It became a sad place to work for.  I am so happy I left, as are others who have since left the store.
Catherine Black

About VOMB

Voices of Monterey Bay is a nonprofit online news source serving California's Central Coast.