I can’t say I’m surprised by this development:
NEW BEDFORD – Part timers at the New Bedford Market Basket left work en masse today, taking with them their last paycheck and a slip of paper with a number for the state unemployment office.
“It’s like a funeral in here,” said store director Bill Clark, who said that he had to lay off his part time workers, who represent about 90 percent of the store’s employees. “It’s going to be very difficult to come back from this. I see Market Basket non-existent in the very near future, unless Arthur T. Demoulas makes some sort of statement.”
However Market Basket insists they are not in fact laying off workers:
“I have issued an immediate communication for all Store Directors. All Store Directors are to let their associates know that they are not laid off,” Thornton said in a statement emailed by the company Thursday afternoon. “All Store Directors as part of their normal responsibilities are able to and often do reduce hours but they need to make clear when doing so that the individuals are still employees of DSM.
I suspect to the employees no longer getting checks that is a distinction without a difference.
— Kimberly Bookman (@KimberlyBookman) August 7, 2014
Now in terms of a business decision this is a sound move. There is no money coming in therefore there is no point in scheduling hours and even better if your goal is to dump the company, the more part timers loyal to Arthur T who are no longer with the company the easier it will be to dump the place and not worry about a worker revolt.
In terms of PR of course the idea that you are dumping 20,000 workers is basically a disaster and in an election year is not something that will be pols looking to be elected and re-elected are in a position to ignore..
However I think this has reached the point where management has decided no amount of bad PR is going to stop them, I think the store is going to be sold out from under the employees and an entire new team brought it.
The only problem being of course while you can wait or starve the employees out the customers have other alternatives and it will take a lot of time effort and money to try to win them back.
However this is New England land of the low info voters, given that the voters have been wiling to elect and re-elect people who ignore and abuse them I see absolutely no reason why a buyer wouldn’t assume the customers who vote that way wouldn’t shop that way too.
Final thought, be prepared now that tens of thousands of voters are about to lose their jobs for pols to get involved who did not, but perhaps if they had gotten involved before this point maybe those tens of thousands wouldn’t have lost their jobs.
Of course if the GOP took my advice on the matter back in July thousands of young people who would likely never think of voting Republican might right now be remembering which party was on their side before their jobs were lost.
As I said at the time it was a golden opportunity for the Massachusetts GOP and the smart thing to do…
…which explains why they failed to do it.