NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Market Basket strikes cause strife

With the Demoulas family fighting and the Market Basket chain coming to a near halt, it has affected some students here at NECC.

It was early July when the Market Basket board of directors headed by Arthur S. Demoulas fired Arthur T. Demoulas who had been serving as president of the company since 2008 according to an article in the Boston Globe.

An uproar took place when employees walked off their jobs and customers boycotted the stores. The loss of Artie T, led to both customers and employees going to the Market Basket headquarters in Tewksbury and protesting.

Within a couple weeks, Market Basket’s profits were falling sharply. With no food coming out of the warehouses and stores slowly emptying of merchandise, the Market Basket Board of Directors decided it was time for the stores to cut all hours to part time employees and schedule employees to the store’s needs.

Viviana Padilla, a NECC general studies student said, she has worked part time in the Lawrence store for 5 years.

“It was my first job,” said Padilla. In Padilla’s store they started scheduling part timers one day a week then eventually told her do not not bother looking at the schedule as there were no hours for her.

With school starting around the corner and hours being cut, Mariah Cruz, a liberal arts student who worked part time in the Haverhill store started to worry. She lives at home with her single mother and siblings. She helped her mom out with bills and food for her family. She also worried about the added cost that was coming due to starting school. 

“I now have no income,” said Cruz.

Some students were not given the official word they were laid off. Matthew Gagnon, a business transfer student who works part time in the Haverhill store said he technically still has a job but would not be given any hours. 

“I have not been able to pay bills, and I usually help my dad out with bills. It has been a little bit of a struggle,” said Gagnon. 

Gagnon also said he will be given hours for this week.

For weeks there were assurances that Market Basket was moving closer to a deal, but there no deal until last week, causing students to look elsewhere for work and shoppers other places to shop in the meantime.

Jasmine Montilla, a radiology student works at Stop and Shop and is seeing the influx of customers that once shopped at Market Basket. It has affected her in a different way by putting stress on her.  “I am getting complaints from customers about the pricing and how expensive Stop and Shop is compared to Market Basket.” Montilla understand the customer’s anger but does not understand the complaints that are coming her way being a cashier.

The Market Basket saga of the summer of 2014 came to an end last week when Arthur T. Demoulas bought the remaining 50.5 percent of the company giving him soul ownership with his three sisters.  This deal could not come soon enough for some students, as they want to get back to work and start helping out with their families.

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