Outstanding piece on Public Radio International on the MB culture in general and the Somerville store in particular.
Rumor was rampant today of a 5pm deadline for an offer submitted by ATD’s side of the family to buy out all of ASD’s side. That rumored deadline came and went with no announcement so we presume an extension was granted. We have been anticipating a deal all week as we continue on with our protests and boycotts and each day has come and gone with no resolution to this. The CEOs have issued more threats to our livelihoods and our customers have shoved them right back in their face as they continue their unwavering support for our cause.
This is no longer about F&G. It’s no longer about the Board. The blame for the lack of a deal and the continuing of the crisis rests solely on the shoulders of Arthur S. Demoulas, Fotene Demoulas, Diana Merriam and Rafaela Evans Demoulas. It is their greed, plain and simple, that is drawing this story on and preventing 25,000 associates and 2 million customers from returning to the company they love. The company they built. The company that enriched these shareholders while they sat back and collected airplanes, cars, interior design firms and vineyards. We have no idea what the dollar amount is on the offer but we can be sure it is more than fair. How many more dollars need to be tacked on in order to satisfy these people?
We can no longer simply blame the face of all this, Arthur S, though he is plenty blameworthy. His sisters, Fotene and Diana, and his estranged ex-sister in law, Rafaela, are front and center along with him as they drive the greed bus. Any one of them could help end this, but not one of them has. They want more money and they seemingly want to see the asset that they are selling, OUR COMPANY, crumble before they cash in on it. Think about how twisted that is, they are leveraging ATD’s love of the company and his people to drive up the price as they watch the actual value of it being destroyed because of their decisions.
Do you think they have an ounce of compassion for the associates or the customers? Do you think they care whether or not we have spent our lives with this company or that we save thousands of dollars shopping there?
THEY DON’T. They grew up here and some of them still live here but they are so far removed from who we are and what we stand for they may as well have grown up on another planet. We call on them to accept the offer and to do it tomorrow. Take your hundreds of millions and GO AWAY! We will not waver in our commitment to each other and to our demands until you do. Our protests will continue, our boycotts will continue and before long your asset will be worthless. For the greater good of all the communities in New England that this company serves, accept the offer.
Your faces and names forever will be attached to the outcome of this deal. You are not only destroying the cousins you so despise by dragging this on for a few pennies more but you are also destroying a cherished way of life for every single one of us.
Arthur S. Demoulas, Fotene Demoulas, Diana Merriam and Rafaela Evans Demoulas, this story is yours to write an ending to. Only you can limit the damage done to your names and your reputations.
Shout out those names. Maybe if we do it loud enough they will finally realize that we exist and that their greed is killing us.
Customers, please come join us tomorrow at our store rallies or at our HQ rally where we’ll have music and food along with our dogged determination to win this battle versus their unrelenting greed.
Tom Trainor will be on All In with Chris Hayes tonight on MSNBC tonight sometime between 8-9.
Set your DVRs!
The latest “threat” to replace associates who have walked off the job (this is the third time) with permanent replacements shows that the Board and F&G haven’t heard our beloved customers collective voice or worse, they could care less what you think. You have been all over social media and also you have voted with your feet by boycotting our stores until ATD is back in charge.
F&G released a statement through their PR firm O’Neill and Assoc that associates have until Monday to come back to work without penalty or be replace permanently, where have we heard this before. They are planning a job fair to replace, not only the people at the warehouse, drivers and office personnel but also Store Directors and Asst Managers. This latest group is an interesting turn since zero Store Directors or Asst Managers have walked off the job. The fact that their stores are empty of products is not their fault they haven’t been getting deliveries. When the warehouse associates and drivers walked out almost two weeks ago F&G immediately replaced the drivers with temp drivers and temp selectors in the warehouse. So why haven’t the loads been getting to the stores? Because these temporary drivers and selectors can’t hold a candle to our drivers and selectors. Our grocery warehouse alone pumps out a million cases of product a week and yet these temps can barely manage 15 deliveries a day compared to the 120 deliveries a day that is average for our dedicated workers.
This latest statement shows the disconnect with F&G, they are under the impression that if they get the stores full of product the customers will come back in droves. They either haven’t been listening to you, our beloved customers or they don’t care. They have underestimated us at every turn and now they are underestimating the strength of your boycott. To us, that is insulting, we fully understand how important our customers are to our business and we also understand the sacrifice this is having on your finances. Please continue your boycott until ATD is back in charge and we promise to get up and running in no time and to show our gratitude for your continued loyalty.
They may not care about you but we care a great deal about you and will be eternally grateful to you.
As posted on the MyDemoulas page on FaceBook, here is the statement from F&G. Understand that they have a company to try and run while the BOD and Shareholders try to hash out the selling of it. No doubt they have been told to go back and do their jobs even though their status is day to day at best.
Remember this one thing: Stay united. This statement is meant to scare everyone back to work. Have faith that we have each others’ backs and the customers have ours and will continue to boycott until we are back in charge.
To paraphrase their statement, we will return to work when our incredible CEO is back at work.
We’ve also learned that they will be having full page ads in some newspapers advertising this job fair. When you see it, understand that this is one of their last, desperate attempts to lure you back in. They are forgetting that we will NEVER WORK FOR THEM.
Message from the BOD today:
“We want Market Basket associates back to work and reiterate that they can return without fear of penalty. We again acknowledge and understand how difficult this situation has been for associates. However, we also need to have associates working to support stores, customers and vendors. We need associates to return to work on Monday August 4th. We understand that some associates may choose not to return, consequently we will begin advertising for employment opportunities. Our hope and strong preference is to have Market Basket’s incredible associates return to work. Again, any associate that wants to return will be welcomed and not penalized.”
We all enter Wednesday with resolve as strong as it has been since day one. It hurts every single one of us to have to do what we are doing to our beloved company but we know it is the right thing for the long term bigger picture.
We hope the proper resolution comes today and that tomorrow we are back to work.
In the meantime we thought we’d alert people to some of the tactics being used by the Board’s new PR firm O’Neill and Associates, Boston’s very own. Kekst, one of the top rated and most expensive in the country, saw that this job was a portfolio killer and took a hike so the job was offered to and taken by O’Neill. Their first bit of strategy has been to take to the trolling of all articles and posts. Whether on news sites, twitter or our FB page we have seen all sorts of obvious plants attacking ATD and those of us who are fighting the good fight.
We’ve also come across some of their super talent in the latest statement from the BOD. No doubt they crafted this gem over the course of a day with some of their best people on the job. As we previously reported, within the statement the BOD says that all problems in the company were ATD’s creation, including the current protests and boycotts. As one twitter user (@BLichtenwalner) said, “blaming Artie T. is like BP blaming the Gulf for oil spills.”
Then we have the ASD debacle on WHDH with Byron Barnett. We don’t really know what to say about this piece other than “thank you” to whomever prepped him for when the cameras finally caught up to him. We at WAMB believe that we could not have done a better job if we handed him a script and directed him on how to come across in the perfect way so that his true character could finally be revealed to all who might have wondered just who he really is. Bravo, O’Neill and Associates! You should understand that your company will from now on be associated with Arthur S. Demoulas and forever will be remembered by the people, the true PR force in this saga, as being on the wrong side of history.
Today we hope that this story comes to a rightful end. Until then, we look forward to more comical missives from the BOD and its mouthpiece O’Neill.
We fully understand people not wanting politicians involved in this but we believe that all stakeholders should be applying pressure on the BOD. Associates, customers, vendors and the elected officials who serve us.
We need Every voice to be heard. Our battle has been all-inclusive from the start and we will always encourage those who wish to speak up to do just that.
We cannot afford exclusion. This Board is not taking this matter urgently enough and the utmost pressure needs to be applied so that resolution can be reached TODAY!
We have heard the rumors that Rafaela Evans Demoulas is in town. She is the key to this whole story. It was she who switched voting allegiance from ATD’s side to ASD’s a little over a year ago in order for her to find a quick path to liquidation so that she could be free of the ties which bound her wealth to DSM.
She started this thing and she can end it.
We know that ASD would rather see the company implode than sell to his cousin, so we cannot pin our hopes on him accepting ATD’s offer. His lust for vengeance runs far deeper than his love of money. Rafaela, we hope, is a different story. We can only surmise that she is in Boston for one reason: to find the liquidation she is after. Today she can make that happen and in doing so, save our company.
We call on her to do the right thing for the health of Market Basket, all of its associates and its millions of customers and sell her shares to ATD’s side of the family. She can right the wrong that she initiated last year and which led us all to the boycotts and protests that we are in the middle of today.
We hope that while she is in town everybody knows her name and her role. We hope she can see that she can leave town a hero to all stakeholders by cashing out in the right way, by selling to ATD.
The fate of our company is in your hands Rafaela. The world is watching and encouraging you to step up and save the day.
Friday evening, F&G released their statement in which they let all workers know that if they returned to work on Monday they would be welcomed back with full amnesty.
As always with F&G, they can’t help but lie every time they speak.
As some workers at the Andover warehouse tried to report for work this morning, they were turned away by security who told them that MB associates were not allowed on the property and that only temps could enter.
Not that you’re contemplating a return to work but if so, you might want to reconsider and remember that F&G do nothing but lie to us.
We Are Market Basket set this Go Fund Me page up for the administrative assistants, office clerical workers, truck drivers and warehouse workers and we are very pleased with the donations that it has received to date. As we write this we are nearing $40,000. THANK YOU to all who have been kind enough to donate. If you have not yet and are considering it, please visit the site and donate or mail a check to the address listed below.
We are not asking our customers to help them out, though we would certainly be pleased if they did, but rather we are looking for associates to help fellow associates who are standing alongside each other.
You will see the name “Bob Smith” as being involved. We used that pseudonym when we set up this page on FB a year ago.
If you have any further questions regarding this, please message us here on FB or send an email to email@example.com
PO Box 751
Make check out to: MB Whse & Truck Driver Fund