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August 30. 2014 8:05PM

Christopher Thompson's Closing the Deal: Time for Market Basket to get back to business


 

SINCE Arthur T. Demoulas was fired from Market Basket in June, I've done my best to refrain from writing about it too much. Prior to today's column, I've limited myself to publishing one column about Market Basket since this fiasco started. After all, you don't need me to tell you what has been going on. The news about Market Basket has been plastered in every local news publication and reported on by news outlets across the country.

On Thursday, we awoke to news that a late night deal had been inked by Arthur T. Demoulas and Market Basket. The deal gives Arthur T. majority ownership of the company and his job as the CEO has been reinstated.

This is exactly what the thousands of employees have been fighting for. They wanted Arthur T. back to lead the company and all of their hard work, persistence and sacrifices paid off. It's been a long few months for many families, not to mention the thousands of loyal market Basket customers who also protested by refusing to shop at Market Basket until a deal was reached.

This entire situation is truly unprecedented. The last time I heard about an uproar like this was in history class when we were learning about coal mine labor unions and the "scabs" that came to replace them while the workers protested over working conditions and compensation.

There were no scabs replacing the protesting workers at Market Basket. They didn't need scabs due to the fact that the majority of their customers were also protesting.

The Market Basket employees were asking for something very simple. They didn't want more money. They didn't want better benefits. They didn't want better hours. They just wanted their CEO back. It's truly an inspiring story and one that illustrates the impact one individual can have on the lives and careers of many.

I strongly believe the right decision was made by the former Market Basket leadership team. If they stuck to their guns and refused to accept the buyout offer from Arthur T., it's almost a guarantee that the company wouldn't have survived.

Not only would the company go under, but the financial impact to thousands of families would have been pronounced.

But now, it's over. It's time to get back to work. It's time to put the "save Arthur T." signs away and start to rebuild the amazing company that was almost destroyed. It's time for all of the Market Basket employees to put this behind them and move on. It's time to show the world that the right decision was made and bring the company back.

We all witnessed one of the greatest revolts in modern corporate history. It's unlikely we'll see anything quite like it again in our lifetime.

It will become a great case study for business students that will have the opportunity to learn many great things from this situation.

But let's worry about that later. It's time to get back to business.

Christopher Thompson (cthompson@catch22solutions.com) writes Closing the Deal weekly for the Sunday News. Chris is the VP of Sales and Services for Leadership Solutions at Skillsoft, a Nashua-based provider of learning solutions. Visit Skillsoft on the web at www.skillsoft.com


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