“I was working at a store called Canned Foods, which is now Grocery Outlet,” Loomis recalled. “I was just out of high school and I was training new hires as well as performing my normal job duties.”
He asked his boss about getting a raise and the response wasn’t what he expected.
“I asked him, ‘How is it fair that I’m training these new employees and I’m making less money than them?’” Loomis said.
“He made me an offer of 25 cents more an hour, which equaled the state’s minimum wage at the time.”
Disappointed about earning $4.25 an hour, Loomis applied for a job at Lucky and was hired on the spot.
“They asked me to change my clothes and come back to work for $5.50 an hour,” he said. “I was so excited I accepted, but tried to give my employer one more shot at keeping me.”
His employer refused to match Lucky’s wage offer and Loomis left. But shortly after working at Lucky his car broke down and he couldn’t commute to work. He had to resign.
“I had a Stater Bros. within walking distance, so I applied there and got a job,” Loomis said.
Since then, Loomis has worked as a nighttime grocery clerk at Stater Bros. 96 in Yucca.
Throughout his career, he has appreciated his union-negotiated wages and health benefits, as well as his pension and job security.
“I had many opportunities in my 28-year career to work for another company or in another industry,” Loomis said. “But all of my friends who took those types of jobs either got laid off or their companies closed within months.”
Helping any way he can
Two years ago, Loomis became a steward so he could increase his company’s presence at Local 1167 general membership meetings.
“I read up on the contracts and became more informed so I could be more involved in the union,” Loomis said. “I’m happy to help in any way I can.”
In that helpful spirit, he is also a volunteer firefighter for San Bernardino County.
In 1999, at the urging of a friend, Loomis took weekly training classes. He was hooked after his first one.
“I really enjoyed it so I joined a fire academy and took classes to earn my degree in fire science,” Loomis said. “What’s funny is the day I finished the academy is the day I met my wife, so it’s special to me.”
Debbie briefly trained at Stater Bros. 96, but she has since worked at Stater Bros. 120, which is also in Yucca.
They have been married 14 years and have a 7-year-old daughter, Bailey, in addition to Loomis’ two grown sons, Dustin and Nathaniel, and Debbie’s daughter, Taylor.
Loomis has a full plate being a dad, husband, steward and volunteer firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
As a volunteer firefighter, he has battled everything from brush fires to commercial building fires. He’s also a first responder to traffic collisions.
When he isn’t running around town putting out fires or rescuing people, Loomis likes to spend time with his daughter.
“We go camping every now and then,” Loomis said. “She likes beach camping and I like camping in the woods.”