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Workers at Market Basket pick sides.
Imagine that you work for a large grocery store chain with a profit sharing program. Which is good, because the chain is extremely profitable. So profitable that the board of directors has been paid over $500 Million dollars in dividends over the last decade. Nothing to worry about, right?

Unless you work for Market Basket grocery stores and that same board of directors believe they should have made an additional $1.5 Billion over that same period. After all, what is the point of being in the oligarchy if you don't get to cash in?

Warning- Get your barf bag ready.

You see, this is really a family dispute over inheritance. You have two branches of the Demoulas family going at each others throats while their worker's livelihood hangs on the line. On one side you have the existing CEO, Arthur T., who has been wildly successful on many levels, including profitability and Labor relations. On the other side you have the not-quite-rich-enough-yet cousin, Arthur S., who apparently goes into a jealous rage at the sight of all those fancy Honda Civics in the workers parking lot.

They should make fine whine out of his tears. I bet he sees no connection between the satisfaction of his employees and the popularity of the stores. Wouldn't you like to be helped by a staff that love their job? That care about the name on their shirt? That want you to come back over and over again? Arthur S. will have none of that.

So Arthur S. is moving to have Arthur T., who is lovingly called Artie by workers, removed from the CEO spot because the employee profit sharing program is too generous. Needless to say, the workers have picked a side.

Market Basket Assistant Manger Dave Snook, who has worked for the company for 25 years, said the petitioning process is working.

“I am very happy with the way things are and they shouldn't change,” Snook said. “People seem to agree.”

The Somersworth store employs an estimated 350 people, and Snook believes those numbers will decrease if the change goes through.

“There is opportunity here for young professionals. We do not want to lose that,” he said.

I suspect that if Arthur S. gets his way it will mark a major turning point in the lives of the workers at Market Basket. Some of the effects will be seen right away if the profit sharing plan is lost. Others will take time, as S. gets comfortable looking to Labor costs for potential profit margin.

Customers will see the effects too. As the jobs become less of a path to stability their work force will turnover quicker. Less of the best people will stay as they seek better compensation elsewhere. The customers will be dealing with less experienced, less dedicated workers. It will have a long term effect on the profits. But don't worry, good ole Arthur S. will be ready to blame Labor costs and institute a new round of pay cuts.

Show them who's side you are on by telling Market Basket how you feel.

Thanks to @datechguyblog for telling me about this story. He hosts a right wing radio show that actually treated Hostess workers fairly and he seems to get this story too. I will be Live on his show this Saturday at Noon Eastern time to give an update on the life of a former Hostess worker and to discuss the Market Basket story. Give a listen, I love to hear feedback of how I can do better. Find a station here.


Would you buy fine whine made from a rich man's tears?

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