Week 5 ends

IMG_20140816_095549_812Time has continued to pass as the fight for Market Basket has resulted in numerous parking lots looking like this one. This was taken mid morning on a Saturday, normally the lot is packed and the store bustling. Of the 71 stores, the lots all look similar to this one.The end of week 5 is drawing to a close with rumors of final bids going in today. To step inside the store is to see two contrasting views: very few shoppers if any, one register staffed and yet the store is spotless as employees have used their time to paint and clean every inch, even carts. I find it sad that Market Basket is considered “a rare case in the business world” (Boston Globe). That is not how it should be, fair pay,  decent working conditions and good bosses should not be the exception, yet we let it be so as it is so hard to find big corporations that see money as the end goal at all costs. Market Basket (until recently) did make money, but not on the backs of workers and customers. The concept of quality at a fair price should not be a rarity, yet too often it is. I find it heartwarming that the customers have backed the workers, choosing longer drives and higher prices at other stores. It gives a feel of everyone in it together in a way that Occupy Wall St could not locally obtain in spite of the anger felt towards the actions of big banks. This is local, personal to so many people. How have we allowed so many big businesses to gain so much control that we are at the whim of those at the top? Is it that the lure of plastic at cheap prices is too strong a call to resist, to buy what we don’t need  in an attempt to fill empty spots left by jobs that don’t make ends meet or provide any real future? Workers have stood firm in the face of firings, hour reductions, threats of layoffs, customers have supported them by not shopping at the stores, suppliers have supported them by cancelling contracts until Arthur T is back in control. That should be enough to remind us all of why we prefer a democracy, the chance to say “Enough greed already!” Which side will prevail is still not clear, but I do know each time we lose employee/customer centered businesses we lose a bit more control over how things are run. But hey, I guess as long as there are customizable credit cards, phone cases and the like, much the populace can fool be fooled into thinking their lives are not being controlled by the corporate world.

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