This afternoon, Mr. Marsden sent a letter to all associates in answer to the Board’s decisions of yesterday. As always with Mr. Marsden, his words speak clearly for themselves.
To: Market Basket Associates
From: William F. Marsden
Date: November 26, 2013
As promised, I am making you aware that the Board of Directors met on November 25, 2013 to vote on management’s proposals for a December bonus pool of $56 million for associates to share in and for a profit sharing contribution of 20% of eligible wages. The Board approved approximately $44 million of the $56 million requested for associates to share in and deferred making any decision on management’s recommendation for the $12 million difference from these two amounts. The Board also reconfirmed a 15% of eligible wage contribution to the Profit Sharing Plan, instead of the 20% recommended by management.
On behalf of associates, Arthur T. Demoulas strongly advocated to the Board that the associates were more than deserving of managements recommendation of these benefits because of their dedication, commitment, hard work and loyalty and due to the growth of our company with the investments in newer stores, expanding into new trading areas, all the while being challenged by significant competition and uncertainty.
The Board issued a rambling, mudslinging response to my letter to discredit Arthur T. Demoulas’ leadership. The Board wants you to believe that Arthur T. Demoulas did not adequately advocate for our associates, by calling the request untimely and unsubstantiated. The Board was timely notified by management beginning November 19, 2013 of the December bonus pool and profit sharing percentage recommendations and its reasoning supporting them. The Board’s response is an embarrassing attempt to disguise the fact that they do not support management and their recommendations for our associates’ benefits. The Board also claimed that my previous letter to associates was “misleading and riddled with errors”. All that was stated in my letter to associates was what management was recommending to the Board for associates to share in. My letter was respectful and did not take pot shots at anyone; it just accurately listed the facts.
Management believes in our associates and the culture of Demoulas Super Markets. We operate in an increasingly competitive environment, with all the competition lowering prices to attract customers. We know that a huge part of our success is protecting our customers from higher prices even when they are not looking. We invest in store improvements, upgrades and new locations to attract and keep loyal customers and it works well for us. The fact is that our profitability has remained stable and above industry standards and is a tremendous success, not a failure. Compare our prices to others…lower. Compare our profitability to others…higher. This is a recipe for success that management firmly believes must be fully shared with associates.
Keep up the great work and dedication.