Best Market Worker Stories
November 8, 2018
This story originally appeared in LIHerald.com October 31, 2018
By Ronny Reyes
Marian Meszaros said that she cannot forget what happened five years ago inside the Franklin Square Best Market grocery store on Dogwood Avenue. Meszaros, an employee in the meat department, remembered feeling unwell as employees approached their manager about a sudden illness afflicting them on the morning of May 30, 2013.
“Anyone who was in the store that morning started feeling nauseous and dizzy,” Meszaros recalled.
Meszaros was soon evacuated from the building by the Fire Department and taken to a hospital, where she and five other employees received treatment in a bariatric oxygen chamber to help treat carbon monoxide poisoning and troubled breathing. Meszaros described it as one of the worst days she had while working at Best Market, and it was the lack of a reaction from her employers that spurred Meszaros to start advocating for her and her coworkers’ safety.
Now, after five years of feeling ignored, Meszaros and deli department worker Angel Padro, 27, filed a formal Notice of Alleged Safety or Health Hazards complaint against Best Market to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration on Oct. 17.
August 21, 2018
My Name is Marian Meszaro.
I have worked in the meat department as a wrapper at Best Market in Franklin Square for 10 years. My life has been hard in many respects; surviving cancer is just one of the many obstacles that I have had to face. I am now trying to make Best Market a better place to work.
It was not until last year that I finally began to get paid about $14 per hour. This only happened after many calls to Human Resources. While this increase is welcomed, living in Long Island is very expensive and I still live with my mother. My mother, at almost 80 years of age, has to work to help sustain our household. I wish I would be in a much better place at this point in my life, but I am only one of many people in similar situations.
Having a safe workplace is very important to me and my fellow coworkers. In the meat department, we use dollies to move around the product, many of these are broken. I write my name on a dolly because it is the only one that I can use comfortably. I have gotten used to working with it, even if it needs to be fixed. I do this to avoid being hurt. I do not need to have one more health problem due to my job.
My mother, at almost 80 years of age, has to work to help sustain our household.
I love our customers and my co-workers and I want a Better Best Market for us. I want Best Market to pay fair wages and give us better equipment. I believe that Best Market can do Better.