A Minnesota woman who has worked for several years at a Minnesota grocery store said she’s terrified of the search for a new job because her salary has not been enough to cover living expenses.
Kathy Wiesenfeld, 43, said she has been a manager at the Minneapolis-based Whole Foods for six years and has earned $80,000 in a career that has seen her get her bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree and a law degree.
She has two adult children and a young son.
She said her salary is the third-lowest in the country.
But she’s not looking for a second job and said she feels the job is worth the sacrifices she’s made.
Wiesenfield said she had recently been promoted from assistant manager to store manager and had taken on additional responsibilities, such as helping to run a cashier’s counter.
But she said she hasn’t been paid the $75,000 her job pays.
She’s worried about how long she will be able to work at the store because it has lost its main tenant, the Target location in the Minneapolis suburbs, which is expected to reopen in July.
She also said she doesn’t have a way to pay for groceries herself.
“I’m scared that the next job I’m looking for will be a part-time job,” Wieseinfeld said.
“I feel like if I have to pay rent, it’s going to be much higher than I can afford.”
The store has been operating under a temporary shutdown that has not allowed workers to use the cafeteria, store parking lots and retail areas, but has left shelves empty.
Wieseningfeld said she knows that her employer has not fully addressed the store’s staffing needs.
“There are no plans in place for how to handle the store during the closure,” she said.
“It’s just heartbreaking.”
Wieseningfield said it was frustrating to have to deal with the closure of her own store because she has the financial resources to pay her rent.
“They’re just taking everything and throwing it out the window,” she added.
Woesenfeld said the loss of the Target store, which was the first in the area to open in 2008, has impacted her life.
She was able to have her children attend the school where they are now attending.WIESENFIELD said she is not alone.
“My friends are doing the same thing,” she told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“It’s kind of heartbreaking to see all of these other people struggling to make ends meet.”
Woeseningfeld, who has a master of science in human development from the University of Minnesota, has been with the company for seven years.
She is a mother of two children.
She said she hopes the company is able to help her family through this difficult time.
“This has been an amazing opportunity for me,” she says.
“But I just can’t take it anymore.”
(Reporting by Krista Dukas; Editing by Peter Cooney)