We Are Market Basket

Many causes in this world start small and grow into something big only to dissipate entirely when resolution comes about. We Are Market Basket has become more than just a cause, it has become the embodiment of a culture made up of associates, customers, vendors and concerned citizens all over America. Now that we have successfully helped to save the Company and CEO we love the challenge becomes a new one: how do we cultivate the “We Are Market Basket” way?

It is clear that we are all fully vested in what this company means in the broader scale of our communities but the question is, how do we corral that? We have a voice which is powerful and we have a company which is beneficial for all stakeholders and we feel it is important to see to it that this mix continues to grow and flourish. We have a responsibility to each other to remain a vital part of this company and its culture going forward. Now that the fanfare has faded we can concentrate on business while at the same time being acutely aware of the fact that while our company has not changed, the image of it has been altered forever. It is now a beacon of hope for employees everywhere that their voices matter in the cold, shareholder driven business world. It has a social conscience which places the welcomed responsibility on our shoulders to be good, charitable members within the communities we serve. It includes all of our customers who have showed in unrelenting fashion that they will be heard and that THEY Are Market Basket as much as any associate or vendor.

Our story did not end on August 27th when ATD’s offer was accepted by the Board, it simply moved to a new chapter. Now, rather than being driven by outrage we need to channel our energies and perpetuate what has always been there under the surface but is now out front for all to see. We Are Market Basket and we have only just begun!

So we ask you, what does it mean to you when you say “I Am Market Basket”?

Senator Barry Finegold

We have seen several posts on different pages regarding Senator Barry Finegold and his participation in our fight to save ATD and the company. We can fully understand and we appreciate, probably more than anybody, the desire to protect the grassroots nature of who we are and what we accomplished together. We made history through our firm resolve and desire to protect a culture that we love. We also feel a sense of unease anytime anybody tries to selfishly gain off of the efforts of others.

We do not believe this to be the case with Senator Finegold nor do we feel the bashing he is taking by some is warranted. Involving politicians in our cause was a hot button issue throughout the summer and any time we implored them for help a firestorm of comments was sure to follow. We took the position that we would welcome anyone who wished to help us Save Market Basket as we needed all the help we could get. We had many vendors support us on the lines and in front of stores and not once did we suspect ulterior motive. We did not look at them with cynicism that they were helping in order to gain favor or better sales positioning when we returned. We welcomed their support and we needed their support as they were stakeholders just like us. We believe the senator falls into a similar group and, among politicians, he was first on the scene to offer his help. He initiated a boycott with his peers and this act was one of many key events which helped us win. For his actions we will always be grateful, in the same way we are eternally grateful to anyone who fought alongside us with their words or actions.

We know he is up for election this coming Tuesday and we hope he wins. Had he not been there standing alongside us we would not be paying much attention to the race for Treasurer but now we have a friend in the race and we wish the best for him. He shops in our stores, he lives in our neighborhood, he spoke at our rallies, he started a boycott and we hope he wins the election. It’s as simple as that.

Thank you just isn’t enough!!!

Sorry we haven’t posted but you can imagine how busy we have been putting humpty dumpty back together again. We have heard from so many of you that you miss us keeping you up to date and we are truly sorry but there has just been an enormous amount of work to do as you know and, by now, can see.

To our business partners thank you so much for your quick response at last minute on a holiday weekend. Your belief in us and dedication to our business partnership is greatly appreciated by all of us, without you and your resources we would not be able to bounce back as quickly as we have.

To our incredible associates, as we knew you would, you have picked up the ball and ran with it. You have unloaded trucks and restocked the stores in record time. Working overtime and odd hours and doing everything you have been asked to do including working in departments that are not yours. To our warehouse workers, truck drivers and office staff, your sacrifice made this victory possible, you were the “tip of the spear” and you 700 sacrificed it all for the other 24,000. You have all been working round the clock at the offices and warehouses during what would normally be a holiday weekend off for you.

The ultimate THANK YOU however goes to our beloved and loyal customers. You stood with us, brought food and water to the picket lines, carried signs, attended rallies, held your own rally, started a “Customers of MB” group, wrote letters and emails, beeped your horns constantly. However the most important thing that our valued customers did was make the sacrifice to shop the competition and boycott our stores. You essentially shutdown our company for the past 6 weeks and,strange as it sounds, we are eternally grateful. You have taken ownership of this david versus goliath win, you have shown by coming back that you are also taking ownership of our reconstruction, YOU ARE REFUSING TO LET US FAIL!!!! You have no idea how much you have done for us and how much you have inspired us to continue on to win. During this Labor Day we have shown that the little people do count in this country if they will only stand up for what they believe regardless of the odds.

Associates, Customers and Vendors, Together We Are Market Basket and Together We Have Done a Great Thing!!

Please bear with us as we restock and then resupply our distribution centers, we promise to be running on all cylinders as quickly as we can.

We Are Market Basket and We Are Back!

Tonight, the resolution we all have been fighting for for so long has come to be. The Board of Directors has approved the sale of the company to the family of Arthur T. Demoulas and we are back in the building starting tomorrow! The entire management team including those fired and those who resigned will be back as well to start the process of rebuilding. Most importantly, ATD is back!!

Details are emerging as we write this but we wanted to let the world know that we have emerged from this crisis victorious! The STAKEHOLDERS have helped to Save Market Basket and in doing so, we have made history. Associates, vendors and most importantly, CUSTOMERS carried the banner for a company that is so much more than simply a company, but is rather an integral piece of every community it serves.

Tonight we raise a glass to Artie T and each other as we have achieved the most improbable of upsets. Tomorrow we go to work and never, in the history of people going to work, will so many people be so happy to punch the clock.

To our customers…words will never be able to express our appreciation of what you have accomplished. You are the lifeblood of who we are and we are eternally thankful to you. Please understand that we will be working around the clock to get every department in every store back up to speed and once we do, we will be better than ever!

WE ARE MARKET BASKET and WE ARE BACK!

 

61

The contingency plan announced last night by our brilliant Board members has the company being “saved” by shuttering 61 stores, firing the workforce, crushing vendors and raising the unemployment claims in two states in order to keep Market Basket solvent. These same men who fired ATD, Bill Marsden and Joe Rockwell then brought in F&G are now ready to blow the whole place up.

Rather than taking the reins in the negotiation process in order to right the multiple wrongs which have led to this crisis, they have opted to pull their heads into their shells and call it a day. Every single decision they have made since being appointed to our board has been harmful to the company and these poor decisions have led to this contingency plan of closing 61 stores and firing most of the associates, brilliant!

We can only assume that these men, while trying to referee the negotiations between the A’s and the B’s, have been taking every opportunity to cover their hides from potential litigation due to their decisions. If they focused all of that energy on getting the sale done perhaps we’d have had a deal in place a week ago, but they are too weak and self centered for that to have been the case. Instead we have them closing 61 stores so that they can say they have kept the company afloat and thereby kept to their fiduciary responsibility. What a joke.

You men have an opportunity here to do the right thing by finalizing the sale of the company to ATD and bringing him and his management team back in charge during the transition from now until the closing of the sale. Forget your contingency plan and focus your energies on getting this done, that is where your fiduciary responsibilities lie and that is where they will do the most good for our customers, associates, business partners, communities we serve and the economies of both MA and NH.

All of our stakeholders need to get on the web and phones today to contact both Governors and the independent Board members.We need to let these people know that we won’t stand for the closing of 61 stores and firing of associates.

Governor Patrick 617.725.4005    http://www.mass.gov/governor/constituentservices/contact/#email

Governor Hassan 603.271.2121    http://www4.egov.nh.gov/nhgovernor/comments.asp

Ron Weiner     ron@pwcpa.com

Keith Cowan   keith.cowan@gmail.com

Eric Gebaide    efgebaide@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Great Story from Crystal Hall Pringle

I would like to tell you a story. I am asking that you bare with the length and read on to the end. It has a strong point I am hoping will help. It may not seem it at first so please read on.
Several decades ago, in a small New England town a girl was taking her weekly trip to the town dump with her father. She always enjoyed these trips because she didn’t get to see her father often. He worked a lot and really far away from home (or at least so it seemed at the time). She looked forward every week to seeing the world flash by from the tall windows of his truck. Sometimes she even rode in the back as was the case on this trip. She smiled the whole way, with the wind in her hair, though she always made it home from these adventures with a sore butt. Riding in the back of the truck was rather bumpy and uncomfortable, she knew however, if she rode there though she could get out even faster and that was her goal today. This girl had a profound love of animals and the dump had a female dog which had recently given birth to puppies. That day though she left from her trip very sad. She had found out all but one of the puppies had gone to new homes. The dump owner was only going to keep one. She had loved each puppy and grown very attached to them. They were all very sweet dogs even if they did nibble every so often. She knew which one was which by their personalities. The girl managed to get over her sadness as time passed and each week spent time seeing the two dogs at the dump. They were the nicest dogs ever and her mother had told her how the other puppies had gone to good homes and were making other children very happy.
A few months later she saw one of the puppies with its new owner. The new owner was VERY mean and abusive. The girl was so upset she screamed in the car and almost caused her mother to crash. Her mother had to hold her in the car and drive away to prevent the girl from jumping out of the car. What she saw that day would remain forever burned in her memory. Her heart was broken and the girl cried and cried for weeks. See this child was very sensitive to the emotions and well being of all other living things, she always had been.
She would see the puppy once in awhile with a sad looking woman. The woman seemed to look happier when she spoke to the dog though. The girl hoped they were having happy times like she did with her uncle’s dog. The girl had an uncle who was mean to his dog. She made certain to keep the dog with her as much as possible so that he could have more happy time. The girl and this dog were very good friends. The dog was older now but would still run and play with the girl and lay next to her napping after a long walk in the woods. The girl often wished she could see the puppy again so that it would have happy times as well.
A long time later the girl was on her bike. She was riding near where she had seen the puppy being so badly mistreated. She was startled off her bike by a dog in the road. The dog had its teeth bared and hackles up. As she hit the ground the dog charged over. Just then a person in a car came and opened the car door. The girl made it in just in time. The dog began biting at the car. The owner came out and took the dog away screaming at it. The dog was the same sweet puppy she had once loved so dearly. The sibling of the nice dog she saw each week at the dump. She asked her mother why it wanted to hurt her. What had she done wrong? She was certain the dog was mad at her for not helping it when it was being abused. She thought how betrayed the dog must have felt when she and her mother just drove away. Her mom explained to her how dogs brains don’t work in that manner. The girl pleaded for her mother to explain why the dog hated her so much. Her mom told her that “even the sweetest puppies turn into aggressive dogs when they are abused”. The girl looked confused, her uncle wasn’t very nice to his dog either and it was always very sweet. When she offered up that comparison, her mother replied, “I guess some dogs have a stronger spirit than others”.
The girl grew up through the years and faced many difficult times. She had met real life monsters. She had a difficult life. She never grew a tough skin. She has remained a very sympathetic person who is easily hurt by the evil in this world. She has learned some evil is so great that it cannot be fought. She has learned that many of the monsters think they are stronger than they are and she learned to see these creatures for what they are and the danger they actually pose. She sees the puppy that was once present before it was beaten into an aggressive dog.
One day this girl discovered that a monster was in town. This monster was hurting a lot of people. The people have stood their ground against the monster and the monster retreated. The monster has tried to inflict its pain onto the people from very far away. The girl sees the people whom the monster had beaten so many times becoming aggressive dogs and the girl is scared for them. This story’s end has yet to be told, but the lesson’s of the past can still teach a thing or two.
The people can give into the beating monster and allow the monster to take away from them who they are, or the people can show the monster that their spirit is stronger than him. Arthur S can take your jobs, we ALWAYS knew that. Arthur S can take our beloved Market Basket, we ALWAYS knew that. That is all he has the power to take. He can’t take away what made you good at your jobs, or the things that make Market Basket so amazing, its people. Anything else he gets is what we give him. I beg you not to allow him to defeat the kindness in your hearts. We began this knowing we would not be defeated. We knew this would be hard. Don’t allow how long this has gone on for, to distort why we began this journey. Who we were six weeks ago should be who we are today. Every day I go out before my store I am afraid. I am afraid someone will say something mean and it will hurt me. I am that sensitive STILL. People say mean things, my feelings have been hurt, I have been scared by angry mean men in my face. I have found that if I smile a sincere smile, (one I get by finding the good around me and putting my focus with good), i.e.; a dog in a car driving by with its ear flapping, the sweet older couple still in as much love today as they were fifty years ago, the fact that while flipping me off the guy spilled his coffee on his lap. I smile and I smile genuine and you know what happens? People smile back. People whom tried not to look at me but, then they catch a just glimpse and make a nana second of eye contact. These people see me smile and 99% of the time these people have no choice but to smile back.
This is the face of Market Basket. It takes effort but it gets results. I get happier as well. This is what Artie T is. This is Market Basket. I have come across some real monsters in my life and Arthur S isn’t that much of one. He barks big from across the globe but he has nothing new to hurt us with. He can’t take the training and work ethics Artie T gave you. He can’t take away our friends and family. He can’t end anyone’s life. I don’t know about you but if I am not willing to give him my money which means so little to me, I sure as heck will not give him my soul. He’s not worth that.

Relax and Unplug

Please do not panic and do not listen to rumors or the media for that matter. Seems like every channel and every publication is reporting something different. We even heard of a post on the save artie T and save MB page from a Kyle DeSousa that it is all over…WRONG!

It’s rumors and misinformation that get people into a panic, there could be many reasons why a BOD meeting was cancelled or postponed and the simple fact of the matter is we don’t know why so why panic and make things up.

Stay on this page and we will let you know what we know as soon as we know it. We have been telling you the truth now for 13 months and we are still very confident. It would be best if everyone shut off all social media and their TV’s tonight.

Tonight’s Cancellation

Tonight’s Board meeting was obviously one we were all looking forward to as we have such high hopes that resolution is near and that we just might be able to resume our lives again. The fact that it has been cancelled has created much anxiety, fear and anger among so many of us stakeholders and this is perfectly natural.

We’re calling for calm and for faith in ATD and his team. The size of this transaction, which we believe to be so close, is enormous and the complexities must be downright mind blowing. We can only assume that the documents must not be ready and the Board has no reason to hold a meeting until they are all in order.

We have become accustomed to disappointment and now that we seem to be so close to our goal, this one certainly stings. Hard as it may be, we need to try and understand that the process is slow…hence the reason for such a late meeting in the first place. Now it has been pushed off and we are hearing that it is still going to take place, hopefully tomorrow. We’re like kids before Christmas, as the big day draws nearer the hours grow longer and the wait is agonizing.

In the meantime, we keep on keeping on. We protest and we boycott…and we keep our faith.

What’s the hold up?

The Governors of both MA and NH announced Friday that a deal was close and they expected the deal to be in writing by Sunday and all associates back to work early next week. ATD’s spokesperson released a statement Friday night stating that all roadblocks had been removed and there was nothing standing in the way of this deal being completed this weekend.

The weekend is almost over and we hear nothing but crickets. What is the Board waiting for? Why are they stalling? When will this deal be done so we can all go back to working and shopping?

Board of Directors, please don’t delay any more, there has been enough pain caused to associates, customers and business partners over the past 5 weeks. Every day you delay costs the company millions.

To the MB Faithful, keep the boycott going and keep the pickets going until they finalize the deal. Don’t let your guard down for a single minute until you hear that ATD’s offer has been accepted and he is in control. Remaining guardedly optimistic but our resolve hasn’t dropped a bit.

WAMB

Family

A funeral was held today for the mother of two longtime Market Basket associates. While sitting through the profound somberness of the ceremony one couldn’t help but be struck by the power of this family’s love for this woman and share in their sense of loss. Every pew in the church was filled and in looking around you noticed many faces of our Market Basket family from all departments and all levels of employment from clerks to directors to shareholders. In the midst of our all out fight to save the company we love, all took the time to support our family members who were hurting because that is simply what we do.

We stand by our family members when they need us.

Today is yet another day when we wait for the phone to ring with news of a positive resolution. It is staggering to realize that we are now in our 6th week of protest and boycott yet it is heartening to know that our resolve is as strong as it has ever been. The outside world watches in an almost voyeuristic sense to see what will happen to us all as if we were in some sort of twisted movie. To us, we just soldier on because it is what we have to do. Our family is hurting in so many ways and it is our paternal, maternal and fraternal instincts that drive us to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other. Our love for each other overrides all fear and drives us until we get our victory.

As we await the news we are all praying for we can take comfort in knowing that we all await it together. Today we wept together in sorrow for a loved one lost and tonight we resume our vigil in hopes that our faith will be rewarded and that our tears will become tears of joy that our Market Basket family has been made whole again.