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(Boston Globe)   Market Basket 'a rare case of people not beaten into submission by billionaires'   (bostonglobe.com) divider line 26
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1333 clicks; posted to Business » on 12 Aug 2014 at 1:26 PM (18 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-12 12:13:50 PM  
The board seems to actually think they're gonna win this one. The workers are perfectly happy to scuttle the company completely and leave the board with nothing. Good on them.

Bet it's making some billionaires nervous, too.
 
2014-08-12 01:34:22 PM  
When sales is down 92% and you refuse to do the thing that will reverse that trend instantly, you deserve nothing.
 
2014-08-12 01:41:02 PM  
The "independent" board members have said that it would help move things along if workers just got back to work and shoppers just got back to shopping instead of being "held hostage" by Arthur T. Demoulas.

It astounds me that they do not understand what is actually happening here.

The workers and shoppers are not the hostages...they are the protesters who have one demand: the return of Athur T. Demoulas as CEO of Market Basket.

In the absence of this one condition happening, they are seemingly content with watching the whole company burn to the ground.

Until Arthur S. Demoulas, Felicia Thornton, James Gooch and the remainder of the "independent" board members come to this same conclusion, nothing is going to happen.  They will be like Nero playing his fiddle as Rome burned around him.

Can anyone else remember a $3.5 billion company crashing and burning like this?
 
2014-08-12 01:45:03 PM  

Saborlas: Bet it's making some billionaires nervous, too.


I wish this were more prevalent. We need healthy businesses that understand the need to invest in the communities they are located in, not predatory businesses that only care about the bottom line.
 
2014-08-12 01:55:37 PM  

Saborlas: The board seems to actually think they're gonna win this one. The workers are perfectly happy to scuttle the company completely and leave the board with nothing. Good on them.

Bet it's making some billionaires nervous, too.


The workers wage is probably nothing exceptional.  Most could probably find another job stocking shelves making about the same as what they were making at market basket.  You can't win a battle against a foe with nothing to lose.
 
2014-08-12 01:56:49 PM  
It would appear the board is getting a lesson in free market economics, courtesy of the people who actually do all the work.
 
2014-08-12 02:08:31 PM  

Dog Welder: The "independent" board members have said that it would help move things along if workers just got back to work and shoppers just got back to shopping instead of being "held hostage" by Arthur T. Demoulas.

It astounds me that they do not understand what is actually happening here.

The workers and shoppers are not the hostages...they are the protesters who have one demand: the return of Athur T. Demoulas as CEO of Market Basket.

In the absence of this one condition happening, they are seemingly content with watching the whole company burn to the ground.

Until Arthur S. Demoulas, Felicia Thornton, James Gooch and the remainder of the "independent" board members come to this same conclusion, nothing is going to happen.  They will be like Nero playing his fiddle as Rome burned around him.

Can anyone else remember a $3.5 billion company crashing and burning like this?


It's a truly glorious thing to watch.  We've gone back to the Labor movements of the 1890's in places Like Homestead Steel Mills and Mingo County Coal mines.  Where workers realized that a lot of the power the bosses had over them was based only on the workers complying with their orders, and if they were willing to risk everything, the actually DID have to power to say "no"   This isn't some union hiring stand -ns to wave a bunch of picket signs and posture, this is a group of workers fully prepared to go full Kamikaze and take a company down with them if their demands are not met, and corporate board of directors facing a situation for the first time in thier lives where they are absolutely powerless and unable to force their will on others.
 
2014-08-12 02:24:15 PM  

Magorn: Dog Welder: The "independent" board members have said that it would help move things along if workers just got back to work and shoppers just got back to shopping instead of being "held hostage" by Arthur T. Demoulas.

It astounds me that they do not understand what is actually happening here.

The workers and shoppers are not the hostages...they are the protesters who have one demand: the return of Athur T. Demoulas as CEO of Market Basket.

In the absence of this one condition happening, they are seemingly content with watching the whole company burn to the ground.

Until Arthur S. Demoulas, Felicia Thornton, James Gooch and the remainder of the "independent" board members come to this same conclusion, nothing is going to happen.  They will be like Nero playing his fiddle as Rome burned around him.

Can anyone else remember a $3.5 billion company crashing and burning like this?

It's a truly glorious thing to watch.  We've gone back to the Labor movements of the 1890's in places Like Homestead Steel Mills and Mingo County Coal mines.  Where workers realized that a lot of the power the bosses had over them was based only on the workers complying with their orders, and if they were willing to risk everything, the actually DID have to power to say "no"   This isn't some union hiring stand -ns to wave a bunch of picket signs and posture, this is a group of workers fully prepared to go full Kamikaze and take a company down with them if their demands are not met, and corporate board of directors facing a situation for the first time in thier lives where they are absolutely powerless and unable to force their will on others.


I think its great. Would like to see more people in America do the same thing.
 
JRB
2014-08-12 02:24:31 PM  
I can't help seeing a bigger message here, that this is a collision between owners holding on too long to economic downturn-era employer brutalism when we're actually racing into a period of recovery with better job opportunities. I've been waiting for the first big reality check that employers will need to start appealing to their workers rather than slashing benefits and capping pay raises at 0-2%.
 
2014-08-12 02:29:58 PM  

Muta: Saborlas: The board seems to actually think they're gonna win this one. The workers are perfectly happy to scuttle the company completely and leave the board with nothing. Good on them.

Bet it's making some billionaires nervous, too.

The workers wage is probably nothing exceptional.  Most could probably find another job stocking shelves making about the same as what they were making at market basket.  You can't win a battle against a foe with nothing to lose.


Workers get a retirement, profit sharing, and fairly decent wages.

They have that to lose if MB gets scuttled or purchased. The only way they 'win' is if ATD is back at the helm and affirms those benefits. So it's in their interest for him to come back.
 
2014-08-12 02:38:41 PM  

Magorn: It's a truly glorious thing to watch.  We've gone back to the Labor movements of the 1890's in places Like Homestead Steel Mills and Mingo County Coal mines.  Where workers realized that a lot of the power the bosses had over them was based only on the workers complying with their orders, and if they were willing to risk everything, the actually DID have to power to say "no"   This isn't some union hiring stand -ns to wave a bunch of picket signs and posture, this is a group of workers fully prepared to go full Kamikaze and take a company down with them if their demands are not met, and corporate board of directors facing a situation for the first time in thier lives where they are absolutely powerless and unable to force their will on others.


When the dust has settled, this whole fiasco might end up making things worse for organized labor in the US. If the MB employees succeed, expect them to become the poster children of why America doesn't need unions.
 
2014-08-12 02:41:10 PM  

enry: Muta: Saborlas: The board seems to actually think they're gonna win this one. The workers are perfectly happy to scuttle the company completely and leave the board with nothing. Good on them.

Bet it's making some billionaires nervous, too.

The workers wage is probably nothing exceptional.  Most could probably find another job stocking shelves making about the same as what they were making at market basket.  You can't win a battle against a foe with nothing to lose.

Workers get a retirement, profit sharing, and fairly decent wages.

They have that to lose if MB gets scuttled or purchased. The only way they 'win' is if ATD is back at the helm and affirms those benefits. So it's in their interest for him to come back.


In addition to the on-the-books benefits, ATD also goes above and beyond in taking care of his employees, too.  He's always visiting stores and getting to know both employees and customers (which makes this battle somewhat personal for a lot of people) and he also has a history of taking care of employees who have hard times.
 
2014-08-12 02:42:08 PM  

Dog Welder: The "independent" board members have said that it would help move things along if workers just got back to work and shoppers just got back to shopping instead of being "held hostage" by Arthur T. Demoulas.

It astounds me that they do not understand what is actually happening here.


Easy to understand really. They think they're entitled to the company, the profit, the customers, everything. What they genuinely don't seem to realize is that the power of who buys from, who manages, and who supplies every store is ultimately not under their control. They think that in the absence of Arthur, they'd get what they're entitled to again.

Sadly, they probably won't realize they'll never have that again, and will have less and less as each day goes by.
 
2014-08-12 02:55:45 PM  
Good on the employees.  I am fairly conservative, but rising inequality and billionaire bullying tactics are pushing your average conservative into the independent camp.  I wish things like this would happen more often.
 
2014-08-12 03:03:59 PM  
ANd now the BOD  has ost whether they realized it or not especially after the State of MA ruled the protesting workers are eligible to file for unemployment

UI bennies aren't much, usually 1/4 of what your take home was, but that is at least SOME money coming in and it seems pissd off customers have already donated $30k to a de facto strike fund set up on Gofundme for the workers

In corporate accounting, you are allowed to assign a dollar value to, and count as an asset something called "corporate goodwill"   which is basically an attempt to put a dollar figure on how well like the company is.   I wonder if you could sustain a shareholder lawsuit arguing the current board has committed waste by basically zeroing out whatever goodwill the company had built up  with exactly zero corporate benefit
 
2014-08-12 03:19:57 PM  
Magorn: In corporate accounting, you are allowed to assign a dollar value to, and count as an asset something called "corporate goodwill"   which is basically an attempt to put a dollar figure on how well like the company is.   I wonder if you could sustain a shareholder lawsuit arguing the current board has committed waste by basically zeroing out whatever goodwill the company had built up  with exactly zero corporate benefit

There are only nine shareholders and it is not publicly traded. I'm not an expert, but I think that idea doesn't apply here.
 
2014-08-12 03:20:10 PM  
If Market Basket's board lets the company crash and burn, then maybe the former CEO can buy up all the assets at the inevitable bankruptcy fire sale, reopen the locations under a different name, but with the same policies that made the company successful.

As long as, in the end, the greedy corporate idiots end up with nothing, I'm good.
 
2014-08-12 03:44:58 PM  

fermat: Magorn: In corporate accounting, you are allowed to assign a dollar value to, and count as an asset something called "corporate goodwill"   which is basically an attempt to put a dollar figure on how well like the company is.   I wonder if you could sustain a shareholder lawsuit arguing the current board has committed waste by basically zeroing out whatever goodwill the company had built up  with exactly zero corporate benefit

There are only nine shareholders and it is not publicly traded. I'm not an expert, but I think that idea doesn't apply here.


ATD is one of the shareholders.
 
2014-08-12 03:52:23 PM  
What's the point of being a billionaire, then?
 
2014-08-12 04:18:18 PM  

enry: fermat: Magorn: In corporate accounting, you are allowed to assign a dollar value to, and count as an asset something called "corporate goodwill"   which is basically an attempt to put a dollar figure on how well like the company is.   I wonder if you could sustain a shareholder lawsuit arguing the current board has committed waste by basically zeroing out whatever goodwill the company had built up  with exactly zero corporate benefit

There are only nine shareholders and it is not publicly traded. I'm not an expert, but I think that idea doesn't apply here.

ATD is one of the shareholders.


Yeah. I'm just saying it isn't a normal corporate situation. Also, a majority of the shareholders decided merely on a management policy (who to have run the company), and I can't imagine that they can be sued so as to not execute that policy.
 
2014-08-12 04:48:46 PM  

IrateShadow: Magorn: It's a truly glorious thing to watch.  We've gone back to the Labor movements of the 1890's in places Like Homestead Steel Mills and Mingo County Coal mines.  Where workers realized that a lot of the power the bosses had over them was based only on the workers complying with their orders, and if they were willing to risk everything, the actually DID have to power to say "no"   This isn't some union hiring stand -ns to wave a bunch of picket signs and posture, this is a group of workers fully prepared to go full Kamikaze and take a company down with them if their demands are not met, and corporate board of directors facing a situation for the first time in thier lives where they are absolutely powerless and unable to force their will on others.

When the dust has settled, this whole fiasco might end up making things worse for organized labor in the US. If the MB employees succeed, expect them to become the poster children of why America doesn't need unions.


The truth hurts sometimes.

/you'll get over it
 
2014-08-12 05:20:06 PM  

IrateShadow: Magorn: It's a truly glorious thing to watch.  We've gone back to the Labor movements of the 1890's in places Like Homestead Steel Mills and Mingo County Coal mines.  Where workers realized that a lot of the power the bosses had over them was based only on the workers complying with their orders, and if they were willing to risk everything, the actually DID have to power to say "no"   This isn't some union hiring stand -ns to wave a bunch of picket signs and posture, this is a group of workers fully prepared to go full Kamikaze and take a company down with them if their demands are not met, and corporate board of directors facing a situation for the first time in thier lives where they are absolutely powerless and unable to force their will on others.

When the dust has settled, this whole fiasco might end up making things worse for organized labor in the US. If the MB employees succeed, expect them to become the poster children of why America doesn't need unions.


Please detail the wizardry behind how the triumph of a de facto union makes it more difficult for established unions to do the same in the future.
 
2014-08-12 06:15:41 PM  

Crotchrocket Slim: Please detail the wizardry behind how the triumph of a de facto union makes it more difficult for established unions to do the same in the future.


Not being an official union means that right wing media can spin it as a group of employees banding together to effect change, further proving that traditional unions are an anachronism.  Which means that they'll trot it out every time every time some a large company is looking to organize or a state government makes a move against public sector unions.

Perception is everything these days, and this one is going to be far too easy to manipulate.
 
2014-08-12 06:17:09 PM  

IrateShadow: Which means that they'll trot it out every time every time some a large company is looking to organize or a state government makes a move against public sector unions.


To further clarify this:  get ready for calls of "They don't need a union!  Look at what Market Basket employees were able to accomplish without one!"
 
2014-08-12 10:26:07 PM  
This sort of thing isn't uncommon at all. The difference is that if they were in a union, the employees would have been hanged long ago in the court of public opinion.
 
2014-08-13 02:41:36 PM  

IrateShadow: IrateShadow: Which means that they'll trot it out every time every time some a large company is looking to organize or a state government makes a move against public sector unions.

To further clarify this:  get ready for calls of "They don't need a union!  Look at what Market Basket employees were able to accomplish without one!"


I suppose that, once again, it'll be futile to point out to the right wingers that claiming unions are obsolete because "employees banding together to effect change" is just as effective is complete tardspray?
 
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