Workers (and Consumers) Unite: The Return of Arthur T. DeMoulas

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the face of the working-class American… in New England at any rate.
Source: Boston Herald

After three weeks of articles detailing my disgust with the people, it seems that my blue period is over as this last week has gone out of it’s way to remind me that there is still good in the world.

Firstly, on a personal note, I’ve have found a much more satisfying job that I’ll start this week. Secondly, the stream of negative news has seemed to slow down some on my end.

But most importantly of all, after nearly six weeks of protesting and rage from employees and customers alike, Arthur T. DeMoulas has been returned to control of the Market Basket chain of grocery stores after being ousted as CEO.

For those that don’t live in the New England area, this news might not mean anything. But just know this; people loved both “Artie T.” as he is affectionately known and what he did for his employees and customers alike so much that the vast majority of Market Basket’s 71 locations throughout New Hampshire, Maine, And Massachusetts were picketed to the point of being left with nigh bare shelves.

The story of the power struggle between Artie T. and his cousin Arthur S. DeMoulas is a long and convoluted tale involving a 46 million dollar investment that went under due to a government take over a few months later.

Artie T., who is criticized for approving the investment (even though no one, let alone him, could have predicted the events that would have lead to this crisis) petitioned the board to replace the money they lost so that employees could keep their benefits and bonuses – a plan that Arthur S., who owned a slim 50.5 percent majority of the company’s stock, opposed.

It’s understandable why people are so eager to forgive Artie T. for his supposed involement with the botched investment; he desperately cared enough about providing low costs to shoppers and high rewards to employees to want to fix his mistake. Bare in mind that the average cashier only makes a little over 21,000 dollars a year compared to the average Market Basket cashier who brings in 40,000 dollars a year in addition to the other benefits they reap.

In addition to employees keeping their benefits, customers also reap rewards from Artie T.’s return to power. A large part of the protests involved former shoppers posting their receipts from other stores outside of their local Market Basket chains, showing just how much more they were forced to spend due to Arthur S.’s greed.

After purchasing the majority stock for 1.5 million dollars, Artie T. and Market Basket as a whole have a lot of recovery to do. However, judging from what I saw at my store in Tilton, New Hampshire with nearly fully restocked shelves and the absolutely packed parking lot, I think they’ll do just fine.

However, that doesn’t mean we can get complacent.

There are company owners out there that are just as guilty of the horrible treatment of workers and those hard-working people need a voice.

If you let it, this could be a landmark, historical moment in business politics. With the support of the consumers, you can help people that don’t get what they deserve from their employers.

I implore you to keep this train rolling. Let’s ride the momentum of this wave and lift up every working man and woman. If you see an injustice in the corporate world that keeps your friends or co-workers down, let people know that you refuse to support them until they provide fair working conditions for their employees.

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