Market Basket has been a family owned business since 1915 in Lowell, MA. Since 1915 this business has grown to be about 70 stores located in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This chain promises low prices to customers. In the early 1990s the chain went through some legal trouble as the family fought over control. Fast forward to 2014. Once again the family is fighting over control.
Over the past few weeks, maybe even longer, Arthur T. Demoulas and Arthur S. Demoulas, have been the center of the local news. Arthur T. was the CEO of the company who was recently ousted out of his position by his cousin Arthur S. Arthur T. was and is beloved by his employees.
In the weeks that followed, because Market Basket employees wanted Arthur T. to be reinstated many rallies and public protests, petitions and store boycotts have been happening throughout New England. Several long time employees have been fired. These are people who have been working at Market Basket for 25, 30 even 40 years. They all received their termination papers via a courier last week.
You may be wondering what this has to do with me. Well for starters, I know many Market Basket employees including my own son. Many of my students' parents are also employees or shop there. It is for many patrons the only grocery store available to them. Many of the employees have encouraged boycotting the store. Shelves are empty as the delivery truck drivers have been refusing to deliver goods. Customers, including me, now have to shop at higher priced stores; at least until this blows over. My son has been cut from one shift and has attended the rallies and protests. When he is working, he is spending much of his shift doing nothing. There are no products to stock the shelves. Occasionally he is asked to clean or paint. To quote my son about this ," We have hit the iceberg."
As a history teacher, I have wondering is this Market Basket Mess mayhem or a learning opportunity for students to understand history as it unfolds before us? I have concluded that this will be an excellent, relevant chance for us to learn how to learn about history. As opening day draws closer, my teacher brain has been thinking, " How can I use this in class?"
One idea is to look at the pictures I took and analyze them.