Guest Post from Tom Trainor, Grocery Supervisor

The following post was submitted by Tom Trainor. Mr. Trainor needs no introduction as he is one of the most respected men in the company. We can only say ‘thank you’ to him for speaking up on this and we hope that others will follow his lead.

Dear fellow associates of this great company,

My name is Tom Trainor, a supervisor and associate of 40 years starting as a bagger in Chelmsford and worked my way up through the ranks like all of us have, store manager for 20 years in several stores and a supervisor for the past 10 years.  I have always looked forward to being able to retire in comfort after all of my hard work and proud to say that I have worked for the same company and the same family for my whole career.  Wednesday, July 10, 2013 that all changed when I heard the news about the Board shift at a meeting of senior management.  I go into stores and inevitably someone asks “Are we going to be okay Mr. Trainor?” The only answer I can give is “if we all stick together we can’t be beat but we have our jobs and customers to focus on.” But that’s not really what they want to hear. They want to hear that the boss has a plan and in a month or two things will be back to normal. That’s an answer I can’t give them because I don’t know myself.

What I do know is that we all work damn hard doing what we do and we have been rewarded with good pay and benefits. Many times we are called out in the middle of the night for this or for that and our families understand and we don’t complain. Our hard work is what has built this company into the great company it is today.  Many people have stood up and put their names out their for all to see, some management, some not, but everyone of them are leaders in this company and in this fight. It’s time that more people, especially in management positions put their names to what they truly feel and fight for what is right for our company.

I am writing to you today because I cannot, with a clear conscience, remain on the sidelines anymore while this takeover of our company plays out.  Like you, I have been watching this situation for the past 5 months living it day in and day out.  It never leaves my thoughts and try as I may to remain focused on the job and our customers it is a big distraction to me as it is to all of you.  Everything that I have I owe to the Demoulas family, I have seen first hand the generosity of ATD and his sisters, I have seen first hand the leadership that ATD provides both as a businessman and a philanthropist and I have seen first hand the passion that he has for our company and each and every one of the almost 25,000 associates.  This is a family business and ATD is the head of the family, if you take him out of the picture then this company, as it is now, will cease to exist.  I do not want to see that happen and I will do everything in my power to see that is doesn’t.

What ASD and the Board are trying to do is just wrong, there is nothing to gain by making this company operate like a Wall St corporation.  We have a culture here that is second to none, we love going to work and we love our CEO.  If the Board took the time to get to know the company and us they would realize that but they have no interest in even going into a store and seeing our people in action.  The Board put up an informational, one way website that is deceptive at best and outright untrue in many things.  Their goal by launching this site was to calm the associates down and make it look like you care and nothing will change, but you lie to us and underestimate us.  Even as I write this your site claims you have not retained an executive search firm yet this same firm you did not hire submitted an invoice for over $300,000.  That tells me that you hired them and they have done $300,000 worth of work so far.

The turning point for me was the updates the Board made to that site after the November 25, 2013 meeting.  It was basically an editorial bashing of Arthur T Demoulas and Bill Marsden, two men of the highest integrity and respect within our company.  To bash ATD the way you did is criminal, there is not a man I know that is more genuine and down to earth, truly an honest and giving person.  To call Bill Marsden a liar is just terrible and had you asked anyone who knows Bill you would learn that.  Your repeated mention of sliding profits are just setting the foundation to fire ATD for cause even though you know, or maybe you don’t since you have no retail grocery experience, that we lead all of our competitors in profits.  We have a loyal customer base that will not take kindly to either firing ATD or raising prices.  We have built that loyalty by consistently offering values of quality goods, part of our philosophies and an investment in the future.  What you don’t seem to understand is that a business without customers is no business at all.  As a leader and a member of management in our company I can no longer stay silent while you slander our top management and lie to our associates.

Our company is full of leaders, both managers with titles and associates without titles, it is high time that we band together to stop this takeover.  The power is in the people.  You can’t be a leader and stay quiet when you know something is wrong like this is.  You have always been told to do what you think is best for the company, store, department.  Do you think removing ATD or other management or raising prices is in the company’s best interest?  Of course it isn’t so stop hiding in the shadows and hoping everything will be okay, because if you wait to see what happens it will be far too late.  We need to come together like a family when there is a crisis because the time is now!  Artie has said many times that we are a people business, with that being said the people, all of us together, can win this but we have to come together as a family and we need all of our leaders to step up.

I stand united with Arthur T Demoulas and our company.  Who will stand beside me?

Tom Trainor, Supervisor and proud associate of 40 years

 

Comments

  1. Eric beaulieu says:

    I have spent the last five months working with one of the most passionate women I have ever met. I stand with ATD , Cindy and Mr trainer because I know I can trust them. Today I walked with another great man Mr MIAMIS . He came in just to thank all the associates in the store and personally wish us all a merry Christmas , it was his 9th store of the day! He informed me that this 70th year( not bad) . THATS THE TYPE OF COMPANY I WORK FOR!

    • rosalie hagopian says:

      I have worked with Demoulas the last 40 years of my life. I worked in the meat department for the first 25 years and for the last 15 years in the main office. I have watched, listened and learned from the best. Demoulas along with my parents have taught me many things, respect, loyality, kindness, appreciation, dedication, responsibility, basically who I am.

      I knew Mike Demoulas who built this company up along with his son Arthur T. Demoulas to one of the greatest supermarkets around. I don’t need to mention the many organizations Artie supports, helps, and donates to, you all know the answer to that.

      I know his kids, his sisters, their kids and even his mother. They are my extended family, along with all the other associates at Demoulas.

      I have heard the board go on about different issues that I will not mention because it really doesn’t matter, we all know the truth; without Arthie T. there is no Demoulas Supermarkets. You all have had some dealings either with Mike Demoulas and or Arthur T. Demoulas and know the score. All the top executives in this company have worked their way up from the bottom. Nothing has been handed to them. They are all working everyday either at the office or at the stores. There are no slackers at Demoulas, we all work hard, that is our way of life. Artie always makes a point of treating every one equal, supervisors, sackers, meat cutters, deli clerks, cashiers, warehouse employees, directors and every one who works within the company. How many years have your friends been at their jobs?? It is amazing how many years our employees have worked with Demoulas.

      Where is Arthur S. and his side of the family? I don’t see them coming in at 2:00 a.m. to make sure the deliveries are here on time, I don’t see them here working with vendors trying to get the best prices for customers, I don’t see them at the store mopping the floor after a rain storm, I don’t see them working in the cold freezer putting away holiday turkeys. There is a saying “let you conscience be your guide”. We use that saying a lot here. I know I can sleep at night knowing my decisions are for the best interest of the company. I hope the board can make decisions knowing it WILL affect 25,000 employees and their families, also the vendors all over the country.

      My mother has recently passed away, during her illness my boss and Artie T. made it clear that whatever my mother needed I was to take care of it, and don’t worry about anything else. How many other companies would say that. At any time I can say to Artie T. do you have a minute to talk and he would say I have more than a minute. Throughout this battle Artie T. has time to talk, listen and be himself with all of us. Again, where is Arthur S.??

      We will all stick together like glue, because that is what we do here at Demoulas Supermarkets. Now tell me don’t you want to work with a person like Arthur T. Demoulas???

    • cindy whelan says:

      Thank you, Eric. Just proof that it flows downhill, and I can only hope that I am at least somewhat as effective as ATD is in his appreciation of loyalty, dedication, and compassion for the people of this company, OUR company. It is for the people like you that gives me the strength to have no fear, and I will have zero regrets. So.. let’s fight on, shall we?!

  2. Jay weir bakery manager store 68 brockton. I stand with you mr trainor!! Until the very end.

  3. Mark Smith says:

    I stand with you, Mr.Trainor. Our senior management team has our (associates, and customer’s) best interests at heart. I have been with company for twenty-five years, and I expect another twenty-five more! I can say it is a way of life, that the board of directors can’t undrstand! ATD IS OUR CEO!

  4. Robin jarvis says:

    I, like you, have worked my entire career for one company. This company. I started at the age of 15 as a bagger in Seabrook #30 and rose through the ranks as many before me and hopefully as many more will to follow. Watching the sweat and toil of so many try and be dismantled by so few is outrageous and criminal to say the least. The success of this company has not only propelled our employees, but those employees of other retail establishments that flourish because of the presences of Market Basket stores. Towns and cities thrive with our companies presence. Consumers prosper as well through the “More For YourDollar” philosophy knowing they are getting the best value as well keeping other companies competative. How many times have we experianced the praise of customers when a Market Basket opens and all watch as existing competitors drastically reduce their prices. Towns clamour for stores in their location as if they are vying to attract the Olympics. Grand openings are like Black Fridays at a department store. And all this because one man values people first.

    When I graduated from high school my mom told me you can’t make a living working at a grocery store. Mom, you were correct. That’s why I work at a “people” store.

    Yes, Tom Trainor, I am by your side every step of the way.

    Robin T. Jarvis
    36 proud years

  5. CIndy whelan says:

    This is a true testament to the people ATD surrounds himself with, full of dignity, loyalty, pride, compassion, dedication and respect. I may not have the biggest voice in this battle, but with every word I speak, it is for us. Not for me, not for you, not anyone in particular, but US as a whole. Thank you, Mr. Trainor, for this only added the rebar to an already solid foundation that is my belief in this company, in the people of this company. In ATD, I trust, and will proudly stand along side everyone united with ATD. For without him, this fight is worthless. He is our leader, our only leader, and after all these years of working for this family, I could not work just a job, where it is just a paycheck. Market Basket is not a job, it is a career that I have invested everything in. I will have no regrets, in fact, I only have gratitude. I have faith we will win this, come hell or high water! KEEP THE FAITH, AND HAVE YOUR VOICES HEARD!

  6. Edward fyfe says:

    Thanks for speaking up. We need more people to stand up and be heard. Please everyone who is watching this page post something. There is strength in numbers. I don’t want to see the heart and soul of this company sucked dry. We need to keep this a people company and not just another company out for profit only.

    OK i’m going to repeat myself again, STAY MB STRONG!!!

  7. Mark lemieux says:

    Well said Tom. I am with you all the way!

  8. Jim white says:

    Thank you , Mr. Trainor. I would be proud to stand with you. I,as so many others, in my career had the privilege of knowing Mr. Telemachus DeMoulas, and at a young age he explained the true “more for your dollar” basis he had for our company. Under the leadership of ATD I think we all have seen this ideal grow beyond any imagined potential. Yes people work hard, but all are rewarded by ATD. Everyone including shareholders benefitting. In July, at the first small rally at store 8, without my even asking of anyone, two of my part-time girls were front and center… Holding signs, truly of their own wishes. They didn’t know they’d make the front page of the Lowell sun, they were there because of what they felt and believed. I hope as the boards “Eyes” are reading what is contributed on these sites they know that our organization is family, and it runs deep. Part-time employees on their own time, who yes know ATD by sight, aren’t striking like fast food employees, they are saying leave our family alone. So to BOD remember they’re home telling their families, friends, etc. and these are our loyal customers. Sorry went so long. Thank you again Mr. Trainor, thank you to my team members who have already stood up to defend our leader! Jim White Dairy Manager.

  9. Andy Heggarty says:

    Tom,
    As a company we are very fortunate to have great leaders in yourself and other top managment. After leaving the meeting on Tuesday and all the days prior since this nightmare has begun, I know how much work we all have left to do. Eveyone needs to be heard!!! ATD has always had our back for all these years and now its time we repay him. Even if you are a bagger or a Store Director, (because one day as a bagger you COULD be a Store Director under ATD).. your voice needs to be heard.. I understand not eveyone is on facebook.. I was never on facebook until this began, but like you have said time and time again there are other ways we can be heard… Even through our customers the bloodline of our company.
    My wife was brought to tears after reading your post…
    We are all in this together… Market Basket forever strong!!!
    Andy and Trish Heggarty

  10. lisa deltrecco says:

    I previously worked at the Stadium Plaza Tewksbury store in 1977. There, I met my husband who was also working for Market Basket. Years later I found the need to work mother’s hours. I was welcomed into the Londonderry store family as the floral clerk by then store director Scott Marsden. I have now been there part time for 15 years. All three of my children have worked for our company and two still do. I want this company to continue to be a success. I want to see this company continue to expand so that part time associates can realize full time and full time associates can realize management positions. I want us to be able to still provide the affordable pricing our customers are accustomed to (along with the excellent customer service). The only way I see this happening is if ATD remains as our CEO. Artie T’s traditional values have proven to very rewarding to both customers and associates. So, yes Mr. Trainor my family and I will proudly stand beside you and Arthur T. Demoulas for the benefit of the Market Basket family. May we triumph!!!!

  11. Jay Rainville says:

    We Are Market Basket: Identical to the warp and weft on a loom, we are woven together with strong threads of solid, honest, ATD leadership and communication, that run vertically creating a well-built framework for our cross-threads of respect, understanding, and appreciation of each other, and that is what binds our company together. We are woven tight and we get the job done!
    There is a lot of emotion surfacing, and rightfully so. The passion for our company has been our way of life, day in and day out, for many years. The founding principles and philosophies that Arthur T. Demoulas has directed with have built our company and shaped our careers. Our careers have been far more than just a job, more than just putting in time to receive a paycheck… our careers, under his leadership, have caused us to mature as individuals and have affected our outlook, ambition, willingness to serve, productivity, and appreciation, not only in our workplace, but in our homes with our families, and in our communities with our neighbors.
    Pull all of the emotion away, and you will find that these founding principles and philosophies stand strong on their own – regardless of our emotion – they are solid, they are sound, they are reasonable, they are intelligent, they achieve positive results; they profit our customers, they profit our employees, and in turn, they profit our shareholders.
    The new members on the Board of Directors who are driven to set these core values by the wayside in favor of imitating other business models, have not worked for our company. They have not experienced first-hand, as we have, the fact that our leadership has created and maintained a powerful brand.
    “Emotion”, they may say, “has no part in business.”
    “These people”, they may say, “have all been brainwashed.”
    Well, if I have been brainwashed; at least I got to choose who I wanted to wash my brain.
    I am loyal to the brand, because I am loyal to the man!

  12. caleb owens says:

    “Stand up for what is right even if you stand alone.” – anonymous

    Mr. Trainor,
    you will not stand alone, I will stand with you.

    Caleb Owens
    20 years service, 35 years growing up at market basket

    “Last, but by no means least, courage-moral courage, the courage of one’s convictions, the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. Its the age old struggle– the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other.” – Douglas MacArthur

  13. Dora brown says:

    Well said Mr. Trainor. I will stand and fight with you.
    You know our company has always been very private about behind the scenes. Now there is a war brewing. Our management team needs us more than ever. We need to keep fighting for what is ours. We all came together in July and we won a little hurdle for now but we must be heard to change the minds of the board members. We can win this war if we all stand united as one family.
    Artie T. and his management team have not given up so we as the MB family cannot give up either.
    I am very grateful and thankful to be part of MB family.

  14. Anne Commenator says:

    I am with you all 200%! Have to post my picture on Facebook. Can’t figure out how to do it here. :)

  15. Ian harcourt says:

    Ian Harcourt Assistant manager Brockton 68. Mr. Trainor I have the upmost respect for you and all of your experience. This is a fight that is long from over. We will win! I know it in my heart. All we have to do is be 25,000 strong! I stand beside all of you, and patently await the others!!!

  16. ROn lambert says:

    I’m with you Tom Trainor and Tom Gordon.
    Like both of you I also have 38 years of service and 30 as a store manager. And like you Tom I have to let my conscience be my guide also. I can’t sit on the bench and not speak out anymore. I’ve worked too hard and too long to help build this company. I would do anything for our leader ATD. He is a true leader, an inspiration and a mentor for so many of us.
    I’ve spent the last two years opening up three of our newer stores in areas that we had no presence. And let me tell you this, we are loved! Our culture and philosophies are a breath of fresh air for these new customers. They love our prices, our service, and our commitment to excellence. These people have been getting gouged for years by our competitors, and they’ve had it! And our board wants to change this? Higher prices? Higher margins, come on, To line some pockets,Please! Don’t take us for fools. These customers flock to our stores like moths to a flame, to get a chance to save, get serviced the way they deserve. And you want to change this? Why? It’s a no brainer.
    We’ve all worked too hard and too long to see any of this end.
    ATD gave me a chance as a young man to move up, and advance with this great company, and for that I am truly greatful. I’ve passed along all this culture and wisdom to my children, and they are better for it. My family is better for it. Make no mistake about it, we work hard long hours , miss countless family commitments, but sleep well knowing our leader has our backs.
    There is no better feeling in the world than punching out knowing you helped someone, somehow. Be it a customer or perhaps a young employee your watching work their way up, and for me there have been many. Anyone that has worked for me knows I’m a little more outspoken then say Mr Gordon. But we all have our ways. And mine would not be possible without the great leadership and guidance of our leaders: Mr marsden. Mr Rockwell and all our directors. The one that truly drives me is ATD, he is a great leader, inspiration and the kind of rare human beings that I have ever met. Now, lets unshackle this man, our boss, our leader and kick some butt. Let’s roll! Market Basket strong!
    Ron and Carol Lambert

  17. Barry boivin says:

    I posted this on Our FB page and wanted to repost it here.
    “It starts at the top and filters down”. How many times have we heard that saying? No where have I seen that as prevalent as it is in Market Basket. Our LEADER, Arthur t. Demoulas, has proven to us time and time again how important people are to our company. From the people who lead and guide us, to the very people who we give our service to. Mr. D. deeply cares for his family of employees and we deeply feel his caring. Not only in the money we receive but in the attention we receive for the jobs that we do and for the people we are. When I look at my store employees I’m over whelmed to see the way they take such pride in what they do and work so hard for the customers we serve. This attitude came from the top and filtered down. This deep feeling of caring came from above and works through us and continues to extend to our customers, thanks to the leadership that Mr. D. has given us.
    Imagine if we had the same attitude as the board of directors. If we were more concerned with filling our pockets with money than servicing the very people who pass that money to us for our services. If we were more concerned with slowing the growth of our company rather than moving into new markets that are begging for us to be there for them. If we were more concerned with spending money on committees to replace the leaders who worked so hard to make this company so successful rather than compensating them for such dedication.
    Instead of the sense of dedication, pride, and caring that we get from ATD, how would we look to our customers if we had the attitude of the BOD? How would we prosper if we were cold, careless, and greedy? I know the board of directors don’t agree, but I thank GOD that our leader is still Arthur T. Demoulas and I hope to GOD it always will be.
    Thank you Mr. D. for your great leadership. TOGETHER we have done great things and TOGETHER we will continue to fight this board until we WIN!
    Hell yes, we will stand together with our fellow employees! Thank you Mr. Trainor & Mr. Gordon for your uplifting words of encouragement. Another way that you have greatly influenced our company and helped guide us to greatness!

  18. michael kostoulakos says:

    To My Market Basket Family,
    My name is Michael Kostoulakos. I am currently a Front End Manager at store 72 and inspired by the words of Mr. Trainor, Mr. Gordon and so many others who I have so much respect for, I felt the need to say a few words.
    I started working for the company five years ago as a college student looking towards a career as a music teacher. It didn’t take long for me to see that the company I was working for set itself apart from any other company I had worked for. There was a sense of belonging, teamwork and respect that trickled down from upper management all the way down to my fellow baggers and myself. Needless to say down the line my carreer path changed and I have worked in five stores in many positions and this year was honored to be promoted again from class 50 to Front End Manager. In my time with the company, the ideals and work ethic of Mr. Demoulas and my supervisors have inspired me to constantly strive to be a better worker…keeping in mind the customer oriented philosophy our company is based on.
    Market Basket is a true example of a great American company. A company that promotes from within shows it’s employees that hard work is rewarded. A company that respects it’s employees and customers. A company where our leader Arthur T. Demoulas says we work “with” him, not “for” him. A company that has had a positive effect on the economy of the region in which it operates. A company where employees feel appreciated…truely. To think members of the Board my be more.forcused on short term gains and therein losing the customer oriented philosphy that Arthur T. Demoulas stands for makes me nervous.for the possible future of this company I love. I seems as though those members of the board may be biting off their nose to spite their face

  19. john feoli Iii says:

    Well said Mr. Trainor & Mr. Gordon
    John Feoli III 25 years service
    Store 42

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