'I shopped at Ray's because of the faces I've seen there since childhood'

      VENETA, Ore. -- A group stood outside the Ray's Food Place in Veneta Saturday protesting what they say was an unfair demotion of 59 year-old Wilbur Quiring last Thursday.

      Members of the group said Wilbur was told Thursday, December 12 that when he returned to work Monday he would need to report to the Oakridge store. Protesters told our news staff that not only would he be switching stores, but he would be demoted from a manager to an assistant manager while also taking a salary cut.

      The Oakridge store is located 60 miles away from Quiring's home in Veneta, and he didn't accept the position change.

      Many community members are upset and have even taken to Ray's Food Place's Facebook page saying, "We don't shop there for the killer deals, we shop there because the store is a part of the community. As far as I and many others are concerned, Ray's is no longer a part of the community."

      "I shopped at Ray's because of the faces I've seen there since childhood," another wrote.

      We tried contacting Ray's Food Place's corporate office. We did not hear back from them, however one employee did talk to our reporters.

      The employee, who wanted to remain nameless, says the protesters are doing nothing but hurting those still working at the store. They added that because of the uproar those who are still employed fear for their jobs.

      Protester Leta Sellers says they now want to see the store gone, and see Wilbur and the staff run a locally owned shop.

      "It is not okay to come into our community, replace our manager with someone we do not know, who has no experience here," said Sellers.