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The MIT Sloan School of Management professor says the stakes are too high, and there is too much for all involved to lose, to let the conflict escalate further. Pictured: Protesters holding "Arthur T" signs taunt an occupant of a car driving from a Market Basket Supermarket job fair in Andover, Mass., Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. (Elise Amendola/AP)

The Market Basket conflict, now in its third week, is escalating to a dangerous point. The rallies, though peaceful, are getting bigger and more boisterous. Tensions are building among vendors. Based on what happens in other labor conflicts, we can be sure that nerves are fraying and anxieties mounting within the 25,000 families whose jobs may now be at risk and who are not getting a badly needed paycheck.

The independent members of the board of directors have a responsibility to act, not in the interests of one or another faction of the Demoulas family, but in the best interests of the company. It is time for them to do their job. If the owners don’t accept their decision, they should resign.

Apparently, even within the fractious Demoulas family, new disagreements are surfacing. One cousin has even suggested that it is time to bring back Arthur T.  TWEET Clearly, family members have both a financial and a reputational interest in getting this resolved. Nothing less than the family name and legacy are at stake. For generations, the Demoulas name has signified quality at prices that working families could afford. The supermarket chain’s loyal customer base is not the least of what it stands to lose.

It is time for sensible heads on the board of directors to take the only action that will bring back customers, save the business and associates’ jobs, and, most of all, avoid further escalation that could result in long-lasting damage to the communities involved.

The path to resolution is clear. Many voices, including my own, have outlined it. The board of directors should accept Arthur T. Demoulas’s proposal to have him and his team lead the process of bringing employees and customers back starting now, while due diligence and negotiations on his buyout offer proceed.

The independent members of the board of directors have a responsibility to act, not in the interests of one or another faction of the Demoulas family, but in the best interests of the company. It is time for them to do their job. If the owners don’t accept their decision, they should resign.

It is also time for leaders across New England to use their good offices to get this conflict resolved. It has gone beyond the point of a private family feud or even a parent company-employee dispute. It has and will affect the welfare, perhaps even the safety, of our communities.

It is also time for leaders across New England to use their good offices to get this conflict resolved. It has gone beyond the point of a private family feud or even a parent company-employee dispute. It has and will affect the welfare, perhaps even the safety, of our communities. It would not be unprecedented, for example, for these protests to veer suddenly and violently out of control. Another kind of safety, food security, also hangs in the balance, especially in those communities where Market Basket is the only affordable option for families — if not the only option. So let’s all bring our voices to bear on the parties by saying enough is enough.

End this impasse now, in the only viable way possible in the interests of the owners, employees, customers, vendors and communities at large. Isn’t that what leadership is all about?

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Tags: Boston, Labor

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  • PaulD

    By “leaders across New England”, you clearly mean politicians. What exactly are they supposed to do? There’s little evidence of anything illegal going on so how will getting government involved in a private dispute help? Be careful of what you wish for.

    (for the record, I support the employees in this)

  • sp113

    What a crock. Arthur T is not coming back. Time marches on, change is inevitable. Get used to it. Also every step the board makes moves millions of dollars from one person to another…it’s just not a matter of getting produce on the shelves.

    • PaulD

      No, that’s not exactly what the court found.

      • sp113

        “In 2000, the Supreme Judicial Court rendered its final decision, affirming each underlying decision in favor of the plaintiffs”
        http://www.bostonbusinessdivorce.com/demoulas-v-demoulas-supermarkets-inc/

        • PaulD

          Your link states that it was Arthur T’s father, Mike, that cheated his family. Assuming that’s the exact truth, how many generations do we hold responsible for the sins of the past?

          That said, you’re oversimplifying the whole story.

          • sp113

            **Your link states that it was Arthur T’s father, Mike, that cheated his
            family. Assuming that’s the exact truth, how many generations do we
            hold responsible for the sins of the past?**
            But
            Arthur T keep up with the sins of the father…and fought not to make
            whole the family of Arthur S. So much for the “Market Basket Family”
            that I keep hearing about. So much for “Good Arthur”. He also started a
            fist fight with a cousin in the courtroom. All of his actions are so
            the other side of the family doesn’t win.
            **That said, you’re oversimplifying the whole story.*
            Only presetning what the courts found. As far as oversimplifying? And the protesting emplyees are not? Arthur S is going to raise prices, sell the chain, eliminate profit sharing and bonus, and kill little babies! (Oversimplifying?)

        • Jandy Bee

          I clicked on and read the link but everything immediately
          after your quote mitigates that decision.

          It sounds like Mike believed he ensured that George’s heirs got their “fair share” of their dad’s investment but that George’s heirs believe“fair” includes the
          company’s growth after the death of their dad. Layer on top of that, unscrupulous behavior on the part of members of each branch of the family. We’ll never know all the facts but my instinct and sense of fairness draw me to Arthur T’s side.

          • sp113

            **We’ll never know all the facts but my instinct and sense of fairness draw me to Arthur T’s side.**
            We know the facts and findings of the court…so there is a bad side of Arthur T as well. An old man that would prefer to see his grocery chain go down the tubes than admit defeat.

            **Your link states that it was Arthur T’s father, Mike, that cheated his
            family. Assuming that’s the exact truth, how many generations do we
            hold responsible for the sins of the past?**
            But Arthur T keep up with the sins of the father…and fought not to make whole the family of Arthur S. So much for the “Market Basket Family” that I keep hearing about. So much for “Good Arthur”. He also started a fist fight with a cousin in the courtroom. All of his actions are so the other side of the family doesn’t win.

          • Jandy Bee

            Your last sentence… I think is true of Arthur S and his gang.

          • just saying

            And the courts never make mistakes?

          • jjb

            Most of it is true.. But the facts remain ARTIE T. made MB what is today. A thriving Super Market 71 of them.
            Many employees that love and respect him as a BOSS… There are not too many Bosses that can say that.
            The fight is a family feud and its hurting MB stores, employees & all their customers.

          • jjb

            Plus Artie S was not involved with the market business he was in other investments. Only until some issues arose that ASD deemed Shady Deals. ASD bought Raffaela stocks to give himself the controlling interest. To OUST out a cousin that he clearly does not like.

          • sp113

            ARtie T made it into what is is today….all benefitiing his side of the family: http://online.wsj.com/articles/holman-jenkins-clean-up-still-needed-on-aisle-five-1408140579

          • sp113

            **But the facts remain ARTIE T. made MB what is today. A thriving Super Market 71 of them.** Yes, he did so by screwing out his cousins side of the family. It’s not hard to prosper when you don’t care about doing the right thing.

        • Davey

          You’re trying to blame Artie T for stuff that his father did. Lame. I wasn’t Artie T’s job to correct that injustice, it was the court’s (and they did so).

          • sp113

            Just sayin…all we have are the facts and findsing of the court. Do you have something else to offer instead of facts and findings? Jandy Bee….I think both Arthur’s are drowning in ego….neither is the “good Arthur”. Davey…I am blaming Arthur T for not making whatever his father did right with the family. I am blaming Arthur T for a fistfight in the courtroom. I am blaming Arthur T who would rather see his empire crumble than make it right for workers.

          • Billtodd

            Blah, blah, blah. What part of the fact that employees and customers don’t care about the details of this family feud don’t you get, sp? What they care about is how Artie T. (and his father, uncle, and grandfather) ran the business so that it worked well – in fact, very well indeed – for all interested parties, while Arthur S. has managed to screw it up royally in a few weeks after he was very clearly warned not to do so (and after he had already seen what happened when he started to do so a year ago).

            It has always been Artie T. who ‘made it right for workers’: that’s of course why they decided to bring the company to a halt rather than accept his ouster, and that without the business model that had been so successful for generations they had little to lose by doing so. Whether you agree with that assessment doesn’t matter one whit to them, or to those of us who support what they’re doing.

          • Lish

            Who cares if Arthur T made it right for his employees? He was found, after a vote by the board, to have violated his fiduciary responsibility to the Market Basket Corporation. I don’t expect the uneducated cashiers and baggers to understand corporate law but they need to learn to know their place in the hierarchy of business. They are easily replaceable since they have no skills or education. Wow. I think you have got to be on a certain level of STUPID to think that you can delusion ally change the board of directors minds.

          • Billtodd

            Either that, or you have to be on a certain level of stupid to ignore the fact that these ‘cashiers and baggers’ have managed to kill over 90% of MB’s revenue for weeks now, with no end in sight. I guess it depends on whether one prefers to assess stupidity using one’s personal preconceptions or based upon facts on the ground. In any event, we’ve yet to see how this plays out. If MB returns to a value at least SOMEWHERE near its pre-crisis value without having Artie T. at the helm you can say “I told you so.” If not, we can say “We told you so.” I’m betting on us.

          • sp113

            ** I’m betting on us.** What a bunch of sheep. Are the PT-ers who all have zero income now “betting on you”?

          • sp113
          • sp113

            ** What part of the fact that employees and customers don’t care about the details of this family feud don’t you get, sp?** You are right….the customers don’t care about the details, or which arthur owns and runs the store…they care about convenience and price. What part of that don’t you understand? ***Artie T. ran the business so
            that it worked well – in fact, very well indeed – for all interested
            parties*** Sure it worked out well for him, because he screwed his cousin’s family out of millions. **Arthur S. has managed to screw it up royally in a few weeks** Really? I think the employees have screwed it up royally for customers. **It has always been Artie T. who ‘made it right for workers’:** But somehow couldn’t “make it right” with his family that he screwed. **Whether you agree with that assessment doesn’t matter one whit to them, or to those of us** Apparently it does….because you are spending time here trying to convince me.

          • sp113

            More on the real Arthur T. He’s not the Patron Saint of grocery workers that people make him out to be. http://online.wsj.com/articles/holman-jenkins-clean-up-still-needed-on-aisle-five-1408140579

          • Lish

            I forgot about that fist fight in the courtroom. lol. Yes Arthur T is not innocent and he is duping the sheep into fighting his family battle for him

    • Billtodd

      It’s really, really simple, sp113: either Artie T. comes back or MB goes down. The employees are OK with that. The customers are OK with that. The shareholders seem to be OK with that (though they stand to lose a large fraction of the value of their shares if MB goes under, they’ll still get a bunch of quick cash as the pieces are sold off).

      No one has to get used to anything: they’re all acting as they choose to rather than do so.

      • kevins198

        Sadly I agree that is what will happen.

      • Floyd Jack

        I smell a Mitt Romney.

      • sp113

        If the employees would rather be unemployed than work for anyone but one man…than they are foolish. It is pretty simple. Millionaires will always be fine…employees without jobs might have themselves to blame.

        • Billtodd

          Struggling to give you even the ghost of a clue has been fruitless, sp, but I’ll give it another shot:

          What would be foolish would be for them to have made a demand they weren’t willing to back up with action. It’s the only leverage they have, and they’re exercising it (quite effectively so far: MB is still on its knees without any obvious prospect of getting up off them).

          When you combine the loss in share value with the actual cash losses incurred over the past several weeks they’ve hit the shareholders squarely in their bulging pocketbooks to the tune of a significant fraction of their total net worth, a fraction which continues to increase. Do you really think that the shareholders are just fine with that, or that the employees would have done better (or even nearly as well) by saying, “Pretty please, Mr. Arthur S., give us our CEO back?”

          • Lish

            They don’t have the right to demand who they work for. Why is that so hard for people to accept?

          • Billtodd

            You seem very confused, Lish: they have the right to demand anything they please, and to take any legal actions they choose to back up that demand. And the corporation has the right to refuse their demands and accept the consequences, of course.

          • sp113

            **Struggling to give you even the ghost of a clue has been fruitless, sp, but I’ll give it another shot** I thought you didn’t give a whit about my opinion…but you keep trying to convinve me of your story. SOrry. ** Do you really think that the shareholders are just fine with that** I think shareholders were more concerned with stopping Arthur T from cheating his own family out of millions.

        • Lish

          Damn right. I am sick of being the lone wolf with the voice of reason. There is a cult mentality here and it is SCARY.

          • Billtodd

            You seem to have a very sensitive constitution, Lish, to have gotten sick within an hour of your first post here. But you do provide a source of amusement.

            Quite a few people with your point of view seem to go about presenting it with the dedication of the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz mindlessly serving their master, but your over-the-top foaming at the mouth is something new.

          • Lish

            Lots of fairy tale references here. Are you here in reality? I do not have a sensitive constitution. lol. That’s funny. Yup. My words have earned me many accolades and enemies. You need to expose yourself to the rest of the world since you think i am “foaming at the mouth.” And since you say it is something new for you I suggest you brush up on the Freedom of Speech amendment in our constitution. Sorry Little Billtodd that you can’t handle some forceful speech which opposes your simple mind. This New Yorker is here to stay. Suck it up,

      • Lish

        um no. The customers are not ok with that. Some of us think that the fight is silly. Not fighting for salary, benefits or wages but to reinstate a boss. lol. I predict you will see more opinions like mine in the near future as we are sick and tired of listening to the whining. Decisions are made behind closed doors that the average employee are not part of. Arthur T was ousted for valid reasons. why don;t you read about them. Then learn a bit about corporate law and realize why the upper 5% are laughing their asses off at you

        • Billtodd

          Hmmm – the only way one could confidently predict a deluge of similar opinions would seem to be to have a hand in writing them himself, Lish – especially given how rare they have been so far compared with those sympathizing with the employees. As for ‘reading about them’, I strongly suspect that I have read a great deal more about this than you have (newbie that you are to Disqus, where so much of the discussion has occurred) – including the details that you seem so fascinated with.

          • Lish

            Classic, I am newbie on Disqus. (another diversion and a way to attempt to discredit me, you’re a joke) And?????? You said, You suspect you have read more about this than I have???? What an assumption on your part. WOW!! Baseless assertions. Whatever you need to tell yourself, BILLTODD in order to feel secure in your opinions. I don’t care how “angry” I sound to anyone. I am entitled to feel whatever I want. In addition, the employees seem to be angry, don’t ya think? After all, they are the ones striking. . .;lol. It is immature to say that one group of people are entitled to their anger and others are not on the sheer basis of WHETHER YOU AGREE WITH THEM OR NOT

    • Lish

      That is correct sp113. The board made a decision based on Arthur T’s performance and decided that he violated his fiduciary responsibilities to the corporation. Since when do employees have the right to choose their boss? I am seeing a lot of uneducated low level employees who are not smart enough to see that they are being duped by their guru Arthur T. He was found liable for ripping off members of his own family and he was the puppet master who tried to use BLACKMAIL against other board members to oust a sitting judge hearing his case. This is not a noble man. Arthur T is 100% responsible for the DISBARMENT of his own lawyers. The uneducated and inexperienced cashiers and baggers at MB have no say in how a corporation is operated. And the sheer fact that they think that do is pathetic. And then they show their primitive group mentality to try to intimidate others to stifle dissenting opinions. It is shameful. Not here. I will not be quiet. I am watching a bunch of sheep flock to their herd master without a thought in the world. Not everyone is on the side of the employees who choose to bite the hand that feeds them. C’mon? Get a grip. Arthur T should have told you all to NOT sacrifice your financial stability form him. Instead Arthur T is a COWARD who uses the easily duped, uneducated, minimum wage earning, SHEEP to fight his family battles. I will be anticipating the reality check that these picketers/employees will be receiving.

      • jjb

        You are as nasty as who your trying to describe. I don’t know how this is going to play out. But with a creep like you speaking poorly of employees that love their boss shows you will never have that kind of person fighting for you. Typical Know -IT -Not…

        • Lish

          Sorry you don’t like my forceful language but I won’t pansy it up for the weak willed.

          • jjb

            Forceful language ???You calling workers SHEEP , that’s intelligent. Your other name, is Dolly. You have the same vocabulary, Miss I know it all with the business and family.. Not everyone was born with a silver spoon in their mouth like you. I’m glad I was born poor and worked hard to be something. Then be born into money and act like you people…

      • sp113

        Arthur T “won”! Oh, wait, it only cost him $1.5 Billion! ;-)

  • Jandy Bee

    I also stand with Arthur T and the employees and am
    boycotting MB. Nevertheless the boycott
    reminds me of Rand’s “moochers” in Atlas
    Shrugged who preach to successful business owners that their first
    responsibility is to the needy. The sad
    truth is MB’s new owners, like James Taggart, can easily afford to destroy MB
    and go on afterwards to live in wealthy luxury.

    • PaulD

      The “moochers” and “looters” in that story were quite different than this situation. They represented big unions and people wanted something for nothing, including not losing their jobs. The MB employee’s reaction is quite consistent with a free market in labor, since they knew they had no protections from a formal union or government.

      • Jandy Bee

        In the story (as in real life) there were moochers among all
        economic classes and there were also honorable people among all economic
        classes.

        • PaulD

          The employees are acting in a way that’s completely consistent with a free market, as I mentioned. They’ve decided to act together knowing they can all be fired. They also did it knowing if they all act together, they can bring the company down. The implication of your posts is that this behavior is effectively the same as a formal union. It’s not because the employees have no protections from a formal union or the government.

          You’re further implying this is dishonorable because they’re trying to exert influence on the business. How is that dishonorable or inconsistent with a free market?

          A big underlying point of Atlas is the free market. This isn’t anti free market. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

          • Jandy Bee

            I was likening the takeover as moochers with the new CEO’s claiming as their own what Arthur T built.
            Yes this is all free market in action. But I suspect the new BOD and CEO’s care more about beating Arthur T out
            of his empire than about the health and furtherance of the company (even though they did not foresee the current backlash). Back to my original point, even after the company collapses, they will still be rich and smugly smiling. Employment and reputation? Collateral damage.

          • Jandy Bee

            There is nothing at all dishonorable about the employee strike or the customer boycott. It is quite honorable.

            Sadly though I fear it will be ineffective in the end.

          • PaulD

            Ah, sorry. I misunderstood (it’s been a long time since I read that book). I agree with all that.

  • nilly

    The protestors were NOT taunting anyone! Get your facts straight. Were you there? I doubt it!

    • downtown21

      Liar.

    • william

      did watch people not thinking of family al is not starving and he can pay his bills Im ashame to be one but my peirs scare me I just want back

  • Concerned Citizen

    To suggest that government get involved to force a private business to accept mob rule is completely irresponsible. #shame!

    • kevins198

      “mob rule”? Do you get paid to write this drivel.

    • Lish

      YES!!! mob rule. Intimidation. These are actions from the hopeless and desperate who are losing.

  • Floyd Jack

    More and more increased profit is what leadership is all about. Business is hearltess and cutthroat because we’ve allowed it to become so…. I suspect the Board would rather the company go out of business in shame before they’d back down from their position…. community be damned…. this is business.

    • Davey

      I think the three “Independent” board members need to be investigated, because they sure don’t seem to be doing their job.

  • Timothy Courtemanche

    “It is also time for leaders across New England to use their good offices to get this conflict resolved.”
    Are you implying that the government should get involved? This is a privately owned company, what could the government do? No laws are being broken here. And, should the government get involved, I am pretty sure it will only make matters worse.
    MB just needs to accept the offer from Arthur T. and make a swift exit, allowing ATD to get the company back in order. Withing 72 hours of taking the reigns, I am sure they will be just about back to 100%.

  • larryfrommethuen

    that is right time to end this get back to work and put signs down arthur t will not be back and the governor can not make the company put T back if he has that power then i want him to appoint me ceo of burger king see how silly that is…..

    • Lish

      That’s right. Arthur T was fired. Suck it up and get back to work in your low level positions. You did not get hired to be part of a democracy. You take orders from your bosses. You do not get to choose who is at the helm. I have never heard anything so absurd in my life.

  • Quinn310

    It seems that letting this continue will decrease Market Basket’s value for each day it goes further. It is in everyone’s interest to move ahead toward making it a functioning business as soon as possible. It was doing VERY well up until 2 months ago.

    • Lish

      You betcha

  • downtown21

    You can’t reason with unreasonable people and the employees are being unreasonable. Their only demand is the one thing they know they can’t have and they’re willing to destroy their own livelihood in a futile effort to get it. Fine. So let them act like fools. The Board will sell the company assets to Wegmans and Shaws. Was it worth it for the workers? I doubt it.

    If they were upset about wage freezes, layoffs, or benefit cuts, the workers would have my full support. If they were being subjected to intimidation tactics like the company that’s timing bathroom breaks, they would have my support. But this is essentially a strike without grievances. All it’s about is them wanting to choose their own boss, and the man they want is the same guy who along with his father defrauded the members of the Board. They will NEVER rehire him and these foolish employees need to accept reality.

    • PaulD

      They *are* upset about benefit cuts, or at least the high likelihood there of. New management *will* reduce their benefits.

      You’re basically saying if they were acting as a traditional, formal union, that would be ok but protesting without any of those protections and for a leader and set of business practices they want is not ok. That’s absurd.

      • downtown21

        You don’t know that. You made it up. There’s no evidence to support your prediction.

        What I’m saying is it’s insane to drive your employer out of business over something that hasn’t happened and might never happen. Why not wait and see if the prediction comes true before going on strike?

        • PaulD

          Yes. I’m completely making it up without a shred of evidence to support it.

        • Lish

          Damn straight downtown. I said that all along. I will not be intimidated anymore. These sheep employees are scary. They don’t even know how to form a proper logical argument. All I have been hearing is “you just don’t get it” “Get out of New England” “all these people can’t be wrong” “insult after insult.” If it wasn’t so pathetic, it would be funny. I argued better in 3rd grade. Then they resort to threats. Well, I won;t stand for that

      • Lish

        Yeah. SO, you are saying that they are striking for the MERE POSSIBILITY that there will be changes? Dumbas__es

        • PaulD

          “Possible” is what lies between the probabilities of 0% and 100%. Employees who’ve worked at a given company for long enough (or worked in similar environments) tend to be able to determine the likelihood of change quite accurately, based on their experience.

          As I’ve said elsewhere on this web site and topic, they are playing a game of chicken with the owners and they have a right to protest what they feel is a bad direction being set by the owners. At the same time, the owners have a right to fire them (MA is an “at will” state).

          You said above: “A person does not have the right to collect a paycheck from a corporation and then take direct action to cause HARM against that corporation.”

          You’re misunderstanding what a “right” is. The employees, in any verifiable case I’ve seen, have simply used speech to state their opinions to both the owners and the public. Have they stolen from the company? Have they been paid for time they didn’t actually spend working? Not to my knowledge, but that’s really up to the owners of MB and, so far, those owners haven’t felt the need, or *ability*, to fire those employees.

          It’s worth pointing out that those employees include every single employee in the whole company and that includes everyone from senior management on down to the 16yo baggers. You really think those people who’ve risen to the level of senior management know less about the situation than you do (“Dumbas__es”)?

          • Lish

            You are correct that barring any violence these people can DO what ever they wish, they have that RIGHT. But they will also suffer the consequences of their stupid actions. Striking NOT for fair wages or benefits. but so your millionaire boss regains power is ridiculous. I hope unemployment and welfare will reject these people benefits since they chose to uprise against the hand that feeds them. Senior management consists of a very small percentage of the employee base.So, asking whether I think that they are dumb asses is nuts? The majority of Market Basket employees are dumb sheep.

          • jjb

            You REALLY are an ass.

          • Lish

            Said like true trash. Funny thing is,you probably think you are intimidating me or saying something useful. lol. I laugh when I read the replies of the uneducated. The replies usually consist of name calling, bringing up irrelevant subjects for diversion, or “go back to blah blah” or blatant threats and revealing personal information for the savage majority to try to use against dissenting opinions. (all which have been done to me.) So next time you jjb, consider replying with “YOU ARE AN ASS” please understand that you are being laughed at and mocked for your failure to communicate, which usually stems from a lapsed education.

    • Lish

      Here here. Foolishness. based on ignorance. They will be receiving a hard lesson soon A person does not have the right to collect a paycheck from a corporation and then take direct action to cause HARM against that corporation. Maybe this situation will educated the masses.

  • joe a

    Selling it to Wegmans and Shaws still will not bring me and many more back to the store

    • downtown21

      Your empty pantry will bring you back to the store.

      • Billtodd

        What part of the fact that it will bring us back to a different grocery chain that didn’t meddle in this after we warned them not to is managing to escape you, dt? That may not be an impossible poison pill for them to swallow, but it’s certainly better than nothing and should make them think a bit more (or lower the bid they’re willing to make) before interfering.

        • downtown21

          Whatever, Bill. They’re not rehiring Artie T. It will never happen. You and all the rest only made one demand and it’s one that makes compromise impossible. You have set yourself up for defeat just to prove…what, exactly? Was it worth it?

          • Billtodd

            It was worth it regardless of the outcome, because employees had little to lose (jobs no better than they could find elsewhere, which in the current job market is not that big an inconvenience) and we customers had NOTHING to lose (we can just shop elsewhere and pay no more than what we’d pay at MB under the new regime), while both we and employees have a lot potentially to gain if we can restore MB to what it so recently was. By contrast, the shareholders had bucketsful of wealth to lose – enough for even them to notice even if they’re willing to lose it just avoid looking even weaker than they already do.

            So if we win, great (and even the shareholders win – we don’t begrudge them that). If we lose, they lose more, and the next time some self-styled Master of the Universe thinks about doing something like this s/he will think just a bit harder before actually doing so.

          • downtown21

            You think it’s worth it because you convinced yourself that the workers were going to get squeezed by the new management and that the prices were going to go up for customers. But the problem is: you don’t know that either was ever going to happen. It’s entirely possible that the workers were safe and so were customers, and that all you’ve done is ruin a good thing for yourselves for no reason at all.

          • Billtodd

            Wrong again, dt. The workers and I know quite well where things were headed, and you would too if you had done any research before babbling so cheerfullly about things you knew nothing about.

            1. Arthur S. stated a year ago that he wanted to raise prices, change employee benefits, and in general run MB in a ‘more businesslike’ manner (which to him clearly meant higher immediate shareholder returns at the expense of investment in company health and growth).

            2. He’s also on record as favoring distributing $1.5 billion in cash to shareholders paid for by taking out loans on the business (thus creating debt-servicing costs that would compromise longer-term profitability and growth, not to mention pricing strategy by decreasing margins and employee benefits by reducing profit-sharing – if he didn’t just eliminate that entirely).

            3. Not having achieved that (yet) his new BoD immediately rammed through an unscheduled $300 million shareholder distribution last year taken out of funds targeted for company expansion, again making it crystal-clear what his goals for new directions were (start stripping the company and changing its business model to give shareholders larger immediate payouts)..

            4. That same new BoD removed management of the employee profit-sharing funds from the CEO (at the time Artie T.) and placed it in the hands of a BoD committee (the head of which later claimed he didn’t know how it was being managed…) which gave it to an investment firm that is apparently handling it as a low-interest money-market fund while pocketing the additional return from its investments itself (how that benefits the Arthur S. side of the company is not yet clear, but it certainly doesn’t benefit the employees whose money is being invested).

            5. Arthur S. has been investigating selling MB for years, and given that no other grocery chain around here has prices as low and employee benefits nearly as good as MB’s it’s clear what the result of that would be.

            When you see smoke billowing out the windows of your house I suspect that most people would agree that it’s really not a good idea to wait until you see actual flames before calling the fire department.

          • Lish

            Strike based on speculation. That is sheer stupidity.

          • Lish

            And the BOD have already stated that there will be no changes for the moment. And if that scares people. Tough boogie. Because that is life. Corporations merge and are bought out and lives move on. Too bad the employees deluded themselves of their own self importance. They are the EASIEST type of employee to replace: uneducated entry level positions.

          • PaulD

            A typical Market Basket location does somewhere between $1MM and $2MM per week and has 400 to 500 employees. Remember that this “strike” includes *all* of the employees including the store managers.

            You really think the person that runs an operation of that scale is an uneducated moron and anyone can do it? Where are you going to find 70 people in New England who are capable of running a store like that and find them in a short period of time?

          • Lish

            The majority of the employees are not management nor do they have any skills that can’t be replaced by an 11th grader.

          • PaulD

            True, but hiring all of them means having management to do even a cursory interview. Hiring 400 people simply isn’t going to happen very quickly and there are many towns that have 2 or 3 MBs in them, so they’ll be competing with themselves for hiring.

            They could, of course, throw money at the problem but that’s not what the BoD seems inclined towards.

          • Lish

            Nope. I never said that the ONES who RUN (management) the stores are uneducated morons. JUst the opposite.

          • Lish

            Speak for yourself. It was not worth it for the customers. No employee has the right to choose their own boss.

          • Lish

            I have no idea how you figured that it was worth it. Granted, the non management employees are a dime a dozen but I do not have any other grocery options in my neighborhood. I can only hope that the low level peons have learned their place in the hierarchy of business, They don’t count and they do not have a say. And they stupidly sacrificed $$$, a paycheck for THEIR greed. Have fun, cashiers,and baggers
            finding another minimum wage loser job. . lol

          • Billtodd

            It does not surprise me that you don’t understand why it was worth it even after my explicit explanation, since your reading comprehension appears to be severely compromised. But it certainly hasn’t stopped you from being a busy little beaver: 19 posts in your entire 4-hour Disqus history – you must really think that your unsupported opinions are important to put out there.

          • Lish

            Yadda Yadda. lol. I can post as often or as little as I want. But keep MY POSTING history right up there on the forefront. lol As if I give a hoot

          • Lish

            I don’t understand why they set themselves up for defeat either. Maybe they are just easily led and the others follow along because they are scared to be part of a minority. Plus, these unevolved monkeys have been known to threaten and intimidate.

  • Lisa

    “Time to end the dispute.” Easy to say, as we say it to Israel, Syria,etc., but
    why is it so difficult for humans to stop such destructive conflicts?
    They are gaining nothing at this point, only more devastation. Pure stubbornness?

  • Robert

    It seems to me that Market Basket bosses are doing what they want. It further seems they are on the same track that Kmart and Sears followed, as did Filenes and Lechmere Sales. Take the company into near bankruptcy, dump all employees, gut the Retirement / Pension / 401(k) / plans, remerge as a smaller, weaker and take over with zero employees. Hire similar to Wal-Mart as partimers with minimally fuil timers,

    I was laid off multiple time the buyers full or optimistic rhetoric or expansion, and wound up laying off 95% of the workforce. I would not give on plugged dime for he likes of Arthur T. Corporations and their ilk have no conscience of being. Mark my words. The employees are done. The majority of customers are done. Hannaford dropped their prices on 60% of their stock to give MB customers the look and feel of lower prices.

    Shaws/Start parent company nearly went bust a couple years ago after employees walked out in protest. People who walked out are not entitled to any unemployment compensation.

    Bob

    • liz4321

      Hannaford took over a company in the past and kept on the popular management to get consumers on board, a year later the prices were back up and the popular management was reassigned and had no power. That’s pretty slick and deceptive.

  • sp113
  • william

    why is one man more important than family

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