BOSTON (CBS) – Very few things in life are explainable in simple black and white terms, and boy is that ever true of the whole Market Basket fiasco.
The two main combatants, long-feuding cousins Arthur S. and Arthur T. DeMoulas, have been characterized as, respectively, “Bad Arthur” and “Good Arthur,” and I can see why.
Arthur T. has built a successful business with amazing loyalty and longevity among his employees.
Arthur S. has, by many accounts, kept busy indulging his love of expensive cars, and wants to bleed the company for more play dough.
But both men have failed to show simple respect to their employees and customers by communicating directly with them.
Given the sacrifices so many workers seem willing to make for Arthur T., it’s shameful that he can’t manage to give them more information about what’s going on behind closed doors, however carefully lawyered his statements might be.
Meanwhile, Wednesday we saw why Governor Deval Patrick was so reluctant to get involved in this mess.
The governor says he spoke directly with the two Arthurs and an independent board member Wednesday, and echoed the Arthur S. call for absent workers to return.
But he didn’t say that Arthur T. was endorsing that move, which surely eliminated any chance of the workers complying.
Meanwhile, my e-mail inbox filled up with angry Arthur T. backers claiming the governor is not an honest broker because his wife works for the law firm representing Arthur S.
No good deed goes unpunished, I guess, and the only thing I know for sure about all this is that the governor would not shill for his wife’s employer’s interests.
But that’s the kind of smear that happens when everyone is seeing stars in a situation where clouds and fog predominate.
Listen to Jon’s commentary: