Good Riddance 2013

 

As we say good riddance to 2013 and look forward to a much better 2014 we want to reflect back on the past 6 months.

It all began on July 11, when we were informed that ASD had gained control of the BOD and had set an agenda to fire ATD, slow growth, take on debt and increase profits through price increases while increasing the wealth of the shareholders by stripping cash reserves. All of this at the expense of the stakeholders whose hard work, dedication and consumer loyalty have made these shareholders very rich people. We had 7 days to mobilize and save ATD’s job. In those few days the associates, customers and other stakeholders launched an online petition, launched a Face Book page and volunContinue Reading

Third Party Info Sites

“As you all know our BOD launched their informational website in early November through and administered by third party PR firm KEKST and it has been about as transparent as a brick wall. McDonalds Corporation (home of the Big Mac) also launched a third party administered web site to inform their thousands of employees about life issues, company benefits, living healthy etc…The McDonald’s site called McResources was pulled down this weekend by McDonalds because the third party firm administering the site was so out of touch with their audience and their client that they told employees that eating fast food was unhealthy, a budget planning tool for employees was missing the categories of food and gas and a guide for how much to tip your pool man, house cleaner and au pair.  Bear in mind this site was set up for McDonald’s employees, the vast amount of whom make minimum wage and won’t be tipping and au pair anytime soon.  Why are we posting about McDonalds?  Because it bears a startling resemblance to our Board’s misinformation site and just how out of touch they are with their target audience.  It is also a fitting tie in to ATD’s letter to Keith Cowan about his concerns for making sure his associates are given truthful and factual information.  Below is the body of the article taken from CNN’s website.”

(CNN) – It seems that McDonald’s has finally realized how tone-deaf its internal employee resource website was. It has shut it down.

The final straw? A tip on the site to employees to avoid McDonald’s fare.

A graphic on the site shows a meal with a cheeseburger, fries and drink under the caption “Unhealthy choice.” Next to it is a picture of a sub, a salad and water under the caption “Healthier choice.”

The latest embarrassment is among a string that’s cropped up since the McResource Line website went live.

A McResource budget-planning guide for its employees was ridiculed in July for being out of touch.

“For starters, it didn’t account for food and gasoline,” CNNMoney reported. “The second line on the sample budget leaves room for income from a second job, which many called an admission by the fast food giant that its workers can’t live on its wages alone.”

And then earlier this month, NBC News reported that the site offered a guide on how much one should tip a pool cleaner, housekeeper, and even an au pair.

The only problem: The University of California Berkeley Labor Center and University of Illinois released a study in October that said 52% of families of fast food workers receive assistance from a public program like Medicaid, food stamps, the Earned Income Tax Credit or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

The fast food giant found itself again having to deflect unwanted attention from its internal site this week after CNBC reported that McResource ostensibly advises McDonald’s employees to not eat at McDonald’s.

“Fast foods are quick, reasonably priced, and readily available alternatives to home cooking. While convenient and economical for a busy lifestyle, fast foods are typically high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt and may put people at risk for becoming overweight.”

Visitors to McResource Line on Wednesday were greeted with this statement: “We are temporarily performing some maintenance in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Please excuse us while these upgrades are being made.”

McDonald’s confirmed the site had been taken down in a statement posted on its website. “A combination of factors has led us to re-evaluate and we’ve directed the vendor to take down the website. Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary. None of this helps our McDonald’s team members.”

 

Person of the Year

Remember to get over to the Lowell Sun and cast your vote. Like a good old Chicago election, vote early and often!

http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_24792359/cast-your-ballots-now-suns-people-year

Arthur T. Demoulas’ Letters to Associates and Keith Cowan

The following are letters from Arthur T. Demoulas to the associates and to Mr. Cowan, both of which were sent to all stores and warehouses today. As of today, December 26, the Board has only made one of the recommended changes to its site. Arthur’s words, as always, speak clearly for themselves and underscore his firm belief in communicating openly with all stakeholders; the Board’s inaction in this matter, as always, underscores our firm belief that they are clueless.

 

Dear Associates:

Attached is a letter I sent last Friday, December 13, to Keith Cowan, Interim Chairman of the Board of Directors. As you can see, it relates to claims made on the Board’s website that are not accurate. The letter was sent in advance of the Board meeting that took place at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, December 161h. I was hopeful that the Board’s majority would recognize either: (a) that the website is not a benefit to DSM and eliminate it, or (b) at a minimum would correct the information on it. While they have made minor corrections to the information relating to the hiring of an executive search firm, they apparently have no intention of correcting the other inaccuracies.Continue Reading

Merry Christmas

What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” – Dr. Seuss

It is easy to lose the spirit of Christmas. You get up early, work very hard all day, come home exhausted, eat and go to bed. Customers flood your store, your boss gets on you about every little thing and you do your best to keep your cool. Somehow in the midst of all this, you need to shop for gifts and plan a festive day. Things go incredibly fast and you get bombarded from all angles with just how joyous it all is supposed to be.
Continue Reading

Guest Post from Sandy Chiasson, Bakery Supervisor

As we enter our holiday season I can’t help but reflect on a few things, especially amidst all that is going on within our company. We just recently had our yearly December bonus meeting. We always look forward to hearing Mr. Arthur T. Demoulas speak. This year was no exception. As usual, Mr. D. reviewed all that we have accomplished throughout the year. As usual, he was proud of our accomplishments and thanked us all for our hard work over the past year. As usual, he shared with us as we received our bonuses. One thing was different, however. He could not share with us information as to what the future would hold for our company. He expressed that he was “forever grateful” for the overwhelming support that he has received over the past several months.

Continue Reading

Guest Post from Ray Hamel, Product of Lowell’s Acre Neighborhood

As we head into Christmas week, this next guest post is especially meaningful.  The following post was received from a long time customer and admirer of all things “Demoulas Super Markets.”  Ray Hamel grew up in the Lowell Acre and is as proud of his roots as he is of the biggest success story out of his hometown Demoulas Super Markets.  Ray, President of Hamel & McAlister , is another Lowell success story with a deep commitment to helping people in need.  Ray has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lowell for decades and is currently its Chairman.  Ironically, the Club’s building is named the George A. Demoulas Memorial Building, for the father of Arthur S. Demoulas.  Telemachus A. (Mike) Demoulas, father of Arthur T. Demoulas, dedicated the building in honor of his late brother.Continue Reading

Guest post, Rick Mansell Receiver 27 years

I have 27 years with Market Basket and am STILL Counting…I came here from Jacksonville, Florida in the Summer of 1986. I am ORIGINALLY From Massachusetts…Born in Lynn, Raised in Ipswich until 1972..After 14 Years in Florida with WINN DIXIE, which I thought was the Worst step on this side of HELL…My Late Brother had told me one of His Friends JOE ROCKWELL had said to him that if I ever wanted to Relocate, that I could very easily get in. I pondered this for 2 1/2 Years.. I was afraid to leave a Job and pull 2 Small Girls, My Wife and myself over 1200 Miles to basically “Start Over” in a Part of the country well known for High Taxes.. But after a Change in our work Schedule over the 4th of July…I tried to State my case that plans were made and was told “If you don’t like it…You can Leave”…This from a Company that was second only to the United States Navy for Personnel Turnover, So I had 2 weeks vacation in the books to use, and I right away booked us all on AMTRAK and came up here for 2 weeks…Deciding it would be a risk worth taking, I went back to Jacksonville and went right to them and gave my 2 weeks notice..in a Short 6 week time frame, I took vacation, Gave my notice…Packed my Bags and Moved my Family and was living back up in NEW ENGLAND!!! I felt I was PAROLED!!
Coming to Market Basket was a No Brainer, but I did get off to a Terrible Start…so Bad that we thought of turning around and going right back the following Summer…Market Basket was in NO Way like WINN DIXIE, and it took a LONG time to figure this out. Actually, Winn Dixie in the late 70′s and early 80′s was all Electronic Ordering and scanners and things like this.. when I told people this…some have Never heard of it. so, in my mind I thought MB was BEHIND the times…, well I will tell you this…if this was going backwards, then, it was by far, the BEST MOVE I HAVE EVER MADE! AND given the chance to do it all again…Id have done it much Earlier than I did.. It was Good for my Daughters.. My Wife wasn’t too Happy, but she knew I wasn’t going anywhere and I was positive this was the best plan…27 years later, I still say the same thing. I made a lot of friends, a few Critics, but I got around doing the Road trips, and the more I went, the better I liked it, I felt more and more like I wanted to be a Team Player. NO JOB on Earth is made in Heaven, there are always going to be Bumps in the road, and I hit quite a few of them. I may not have always made the RIGHT calls…but I always gave my Best Effort.
Fast Forward a few years, I get into a Position that if I knew existed when I came up north I would have requested, after all of those years in a WAREHOUSE, I wanted OUT, but Shipping and Receiving was always in my head, I had a General Idea of the Warehouse Environment,, so when I finally got to the position that I have now…I am very Comfortable with it and I LOVE what I do…and the Company I work for. ANYONE that knows me knows I have my sites on the White Mountains, and perhaps if a few Bumps in the road were pushed out of the way..it could become a Reality. Stories have been flying about NORTH CONWAY as a Store in the future, And when my wife and I go up to N Conway, we are always asked “WHEN”? and “RUMOR HAS IT…” I tell them that I am Sure that if this in the plans, then It will become a reality…It seems to me that there are SEVERAL Towns up there that want MARKET BASKET ..there are LOTS of People who Travel South once or more a Month to the Nearest Market Baskets…In the Summer…Friends call me and ask me to bring up something that is in the Flyer, because the costs for the same items up there are MUCH HIGHER. My Point is to this BOD…Can’t you see that Having MARKET BASKET as it is being done right now…Is like going into a Poker game, throwing down 4 cards and getting dealt FOUR ACES? something that has GROWN like this without any Debt is UNHEARD of these days.. what in the World is wrong with that? You have a CEO who is 2 steps above ROCK STAR Status and for some reasons, it is not good enough for SOME People…We have a Great Company.. its been doing very well in pretty Difficult times …WHO in their right mind be DISSATISFIED with That? We have a BRAND NEW Store just sitting there in REVERE….a Huge one going up in WALTHAM that is on Hold…You Call THIS PROGRESS??? I don’t see why things can’t move forward as you work your way through the roadblocks.. EVERYBODY has Done Very well With Arthur T as our CEO…The man is what you’d call a “Man’s Man” and WE ALL Stand by this Man,, It is a Move I have NOT regretted…27 years and counting like I said, and I intend to keep on going Because I BELIEVE in and I put my FULL SUPPORT in “ARTIE T”.. And I am NOT Alone.. I have a 22,000 PLUS member Family, and NO money would buy me away from That! as for the BOD.. Use your Hearts and your Conscience and show some FAITH in US….The Ones that made this all Happen with our Labors….THIS is what Moves Mountains Merry Christmas to you all, My MB Family

Guest post, Marty Maguire Store Director, 35 years

My name is Marty Maguire, Store Manager in Hudson, NH #33.
I started working at MB in 1978 when the Woburn #20 was opening. I, like Tom Gordon, did not grow up in a well to do family. My mother had passed away when I was 16 yrs old. My father did the best to support our family of 5. I grew up in the housing projects of Woburn for 21 yrs. One of the best lessons of my life was that, if you wanted something you had to work hard to get it. So I was fortunate when I joined Market Basket because that is the same philosophy they have. Work hard and you will be rewarded for your efforts.Continue Reading

Guest Post from Chris Tarr, Bakery Supervisor

To my fellow associates:

For a while now, I have been debating whether to post my comments, but after Tuesday’s meeting with ATD coupled with everything he has done for us, it’s the least I can do. Let me give you a brief summary of my twenty-five history with this great company:

My MB employment began at age fourteen, thanks to my brother’s encouragement. Like most of us, I started as a bagger, and worked my way up the ranks to a frontend assistant. When Haverhill 9 was getting a new store with a bakery department, I was definitely interested. That is when I began my bakery career cleaning floors, washing dishes, and eventually worked my way to a full time baker position. Eventually, I became a bakery manager, then a traveling bakery manager. Now I am a bakery supervisor which is something I have always dreamed of doing. This terrific company has allowed me to achieve my dreams and goals, and for that, I am grateful.

I would like to share a personal story that has confirmed what I have known all along, that the philosophy of this great company is, “People first and the food business second.”Continue Reading