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