Since the staff / workers of Market Basket have been picketing, I have stopped going grocery shopping at Market Basket. Yesterday afternoon I paid a visit to the Market Basket Store on Bridge St. I’ve been going to this Demoulas / Market Basket since I was kid. Yesterday what I found in the store and on the shelves was sad. I remember going to Demoulas a few days after the blizzard of 1978, the shelves then were stocked better than the shelves now.
Sadder than that was talking with some of the workers who were there. The Asst. Manager who has been on Bridge St. for 2 years and with the company for 13 was telling me how empty the store has been and how they are trying their best but they really want Artie T, back. The reason they trust him is pretty clear.He treated them fairly, with respect, paid them well, took care of them with fair salary, bonuses and retirement and promoted many from bag boy to Manager if you stayed and worked hard. They are worried about their Health Care and pension but more than that, they feel that he has been so good and fair to them, that they owe him the loyalty that he is being shown.
She realizes that in another week, maybe two if this keeps up the stores will just close. This is her job and livelihood and while she tries to do it, like many others she is using her free time to support Artie T and isn’t shy about sharing that if you ask.
I spoke with the only 2 part time cashiers who were working and has of today, they have no hours scheduled because the full time people who usually stock the shelves and take in deliveries will get those hours and have to work the register. Even their hours will be cut because there are no customers or deliveries of fruits or produce and there is no open deli or Market Kitchen.
I’ve been at Market Basket at 7:00 am when it opens and have seen bigger crowds than what I experienced yesterday at 3:30 in the afternoon. It was almost spooky being in their with the store being so empty, cases not lit and sections empty.
What also struck me is this. While you hear negative things about the management team, this store had many signs and messages in support of Artie T inside the store. I was shocked at this. As a Manager of a company, I would never let the employees post negative messages inside the company that mentions boycotting. Yet this new Management team hasn’t ordered this store (and I assume many others) to stop posting signs and messages about boycotting or supporting Artie T.
This whole ordeal has reached a point that it has stopped being about two cousins acting like spoiled brats or settling family scores and a board of directors interested in only their own dividends. They are not only now messing up the lives of the Demoulas families (I’m hearing Artie S sisters are being picketed at their Maine vacation homes) but now the reverberations are being felt far beyond the Market Basket Corporation.
For as long has I can remember the Demoulas plaza has housed an Antons Cleaners and the Liquor Shop. I stopped in and spent some time talking to George the Owner of the Liquor Shop and his business has been hurt tremendously. He has lost all types of foot traffic and lottery, not to mention customers for his product. He estimates that his store is down 60%. He has had to scale back on his staff, cut hours and reduce his orders. He has talked with others who own stores in these type plaza’s and they are facing the same situation. People don’t want to drive into these Plaza’s with people “picketing” and these other small businesses are suffering. He’s doing what he can but could be facing a real serious financial situation if this situation / standoff continues.
Please consider stopping by and supporting the small local businesses in these plaza’s or they will be closing through no fault of their own other than being in a plaza with Market Basket.
FROZURT which has been open at the Bridge Street location for about 2 years lost so much traffic that one day last week they just CLOSED!
I’ve also heard that Coca-Cola recently laid off 8 drivers because they no longer were delivering the large quantities to Market Basket and the Liquor stores in these Plaza’s.
Many farmers, flower/plant growers and other small business people who deal with the Market Basket Corporation have got to find other stores, companies and people to purchase their goods or will be taking huge losses.I spoke with a guy who has the “Roach Coach” aka canteen truck that serviced the Tewksbury Warehouse / Main Offices for the past few years. His business is down to the point he had to lay off 1 part timer and could lose his business if that facility doesn’t get back.
I don’t know who is at fault for letting this reach where it has but this is no longer a family feud, this is an economic disaster for the state of Mass. NH and Maine and has far reaching impact. It is time for common sense on all parties to take over and stop this before we start hearing more and more personal horror stories.