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We Stand with Market Basket Workers -- Do You?
Since its founding, Market Basket has been owned and operated by the DeMoulas family, but for decades, two branches of the family have been fighting for control. In June, longtime CEO Arthur T. DeMoulas was ousted by his cousin, Arthur S. DeMoulas, who has taken a controlling stake of the company.
Since Arthur T. was fired, top managers, including Tom Trainor, a district manager of 37 stores (out of 71 total MB locations) have been organizing workers and customers to pressure the board to bring him back and built a huge online following. Workers are invested in the campaign because they currently enjoy good benefits, including a profit sharing plan, which would be at risk under new management. The protests escalated until the managers called on workers to walk off the job on July 18.
Pressure is mounting on the company board. Many of the managers leading the strike were fired, but the chain has still been disrupted. Warehouses have been shut down, shelves are empty, store managers are protesting along with workers, and numerous local politicians, including the governor of New Hampshire, have voiced support for the actions. Arthur T has made an offer to buy the company, but it’s unclear how seriously the board is taking the offer.
While the managers leading the protests may be anti-union, we want to make sure workers understand that the community and their union brothers and sisters are standing with them and are ready to help them fight for good jobs at Market basket, no matter whether Arthur T. is reinstated or not.
Market Basket CEOs Felicia Thornton and James Gooch are now threatening to terminate striking workers and hire replacements. Market Basket workers have a legal right to engage in collective action in defense of their benefits and working conditions. These workers deserve a guarantee that their livelihoods will not be jeopardized by a change in management.
We need to stand in solidarity with the Market Basket associates who are fighting to protect their jobs from the ravages of corporate greed. Thousands of workers and customers have come together to fight for a cause that is greater than a single CEO: they are fighting to protect longstanding company values that place workers and customers before profits.
Jobs with Justice supports all workers who stand up to make their workplaces the best they can be, and we see what’s going on at Market Basket as an inspiring example of what workers can achieve when they stick together. We understand that there are good bosses and bad bosses, but in the end, workers need to rely on themselves and their coworkers. No matter who the CEO of Market Basket is, workers should have a seat at the table and a contract that guarantees that a change in leadership won’t mean the end of the benefits they and their families rely on.
How You Can Help
We want Market Basket workers to know other workers are standing behind them. Here’s how you can show your support:
- Contact Market Basket Board Chair Keith Cowan and tell him to respect workers
- Protest at the "Job Fair" to hire replacements next Monday, August 4th from 4-8 p.m.
- Take a picture with a sign reading “I stand with Market Basket workers”. Share those pictures on Facebook with the hashtag #SaveMarketBasket
- Tweet on the hashtag #SaveMarketBasket and encourage members to do the same
- Make a donation of whatever size to the Market Basket strike fund here.
- Share the page where Market Basket employees can contact the United Food & Commercial Workers for help understanding and protecting their rights here.
- Spread the story of the Market Basket Workers’ fight (see below) with your friends, family and coworkers.