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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why we care about Market Basket

Letter to the Editor

What’s the fuss over a regional grocery chain? Why are people willing to risk their jobs to get their old CEO back? Why are lots of customers, and even state governors, concerned about how it’s managed?

Market Basket’s previous management under Arthur T. DeMoulas represents something that the American public is mourning the loss of. Decades ago we used to do business with companies whose leaders sometimes considered the interests of all the people involved: employees, customers, suppliers and owners. They were all seen as people. ...

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What’s the fuss over a regional grocery chain? Why are people willing to risk their jobs to get their old CEO back? Why are lots of customers, and even state governors, concerned about how it’s managed?

Market Basket’s previous management under Arthur T. DeMoulas represents something that the American public is mourning the loss of. Decades ago we used to do business with companies whose leaders sometimes considered the interests of all the people involved: employees, customers, suppliers and owners. They were all seen as people.

We’re tired of seeing low-wage-paying big box stores overtake the unique local businesses that had integrity and character. Market Basket associates see the writing on the wall: without Arthur T. DeMoulas, it’s likely to be managed solely in the interests of the shareholders – without regard for associates, customers and suppliers.

The structure of our corporate world has depersonalized business and employment. Why? Because CEOs and boards believe they must do the bidding of investors. They can be sued if they don’t. Even the personal faces of the owners are profoundly obscured by layers of mutual funds, 401K programs, and programmed trading.

This is what “occupy Wall Street” is about. The American people want a system of commerce that works in the interests of the people as a whole, not just in the narrow interests of a few.

Peter Craig

Kensington