Tag Archives: Market Basket Boycott

Food Fight in Lynn on May 7!

This drama touched nearly all of us, who live in Gloucester.  Now it’s a movie.  Check it out on May 7th at Lynn Auditorium!

FoodFight

Tickets available on line here or by calling the Box Office at 781-599-SHOW or Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000.  Or you can go to their box office at 3 City Hall Square in Lynn, MA (Lynn City Hall).

Here’s an article about the film with some good backstory:

We Are All Market Basket
Food Fight: Inside The Battle for Market Basket documentary tells the dramatic story
By Rachel Forrest

For six weeks in the summer of 2014, we watched the result of a modern Greek family drama unfold.  After a long history of conflict and intrigue,  on July 17, 2014, Arthur T. Demoulas, CEO of Market Basket, was ousted from his position by rival and cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, and because this drama is a modern one, we were  in the audience experiencing  not the heated boardroom discussions but the aftermath of that one decision. We watched and read the news stories as thousands of Market Basket workers walked out in protest to demand that their beloved “Artie T.” be reinstated, with the statement “We Are Market Basket.”  Not content to just watch, many of us became part of the protest, and signing petitions, boycotting the stores, honking in encouragement while driving by parking lots filled with strikers.

Food Fight: Inside The Battle for Market Basket, which premiered at the Boston International Film Festival on April 15, is the story of six weeks in the life of the largest non-union walk-out in U.S.History. Filmmaker Jay Childs and his crew were on the ground filming as soon as the story broke and with Producer Melissa Paly and Tom Bennett, Tom Bennett, Producer, Editor and Writer. They tell the saga of the walk-out and aftermath through on the scene footage, in-depth interviews with the key organizers and everyday Market Basket employees, revealing insider-only communiques and interviews with industry experts. The result is a film filled with drama and emotion — hope, anger, fear — but  most of all, it’s a story about the courage of just regular, hard working people and what they sacrificed to save the company that treated them — 25,000 employees — so well.

The film begins with a bit of background into the rise of Market Basket, the old Greek family and offspring that brought the franchise to success from one small store  in Lowell, MA, in 1917. You’ll learn about the beginning of the controversies in 1990, family infighting, lawsuits and court battles, but the bulk of the film is about the people who work there. Told chronologically which both helps keep the story flowing and heighten the real-life dramatic tension, we meet managers who have been with the company all of their working lives, since age 16, for 40 years and more. We hear the stories of truck drivers and bagboys, teenagers and seniors. They tell us why they love “Artie T.”, all he’s done for them and why, as a result, they want to help bring him back.

Thanks to the filmmakers’ dogged dedication to being right there among the organizers during the strike, we’re party to scenes and plot twists missed in some media coverage. We learn about how the strike affects the families, how the cause took precedent over paying the bills. We also meet key organizers, including Steve Paulenka and Tom Trainor, both during the strike and afterward in revealing interviews in which they explain what is is about the company culture that created a staff who would sacrifice this much to get their leader back. We hear them say “The company gives a little more to me than I’ve given them.” “Artie built this place.” “We don’t mind working hard because of who we work for.” “We can be a part of something greater.”

We also learn about the effects our own actions had on the stores. Many of us were a part of the massive customer boycott of the stores and saw the empty shelves on the news but what you might not know is all of the intrigue that went on during that boycott when some workers still in the stores participated in the resistance with slow-downs and civil disobedience tactics as well as  defiant memos to the reigning leadership, all part of an organized grassroots strategy by 6-8 key people who met each day.

The film follows it all through buyout attempts and lay offs to the dramatic conclusion then follows up with interviews that reflect how we all felt when we heard the news on August 27, 2014 that Artie T. had been reinstated. We don’t hear from Arthur S.,  Felicia Thornton or Jim Gooch, the co-CEOs  during the takeover. We don’t hear from Artie T.  until a speech at the end of the film,  but this story isn’t really about them. Food Fight: Inside The Battle for Market Basket takes us out of the boardroom and talk of money and power and into the lives of regular, hard working,  loyal people — the Market Basket employees –who with all the customers who supported the cause, stood up for what was right, what they believed in, and won. This gripping, touching and inspiring documentary tells us how and why they did just that.