Fight The Power - The Faces of Market Basket
Unless you are living under a rock in the New England area, you know about the whole Market Basket story. If you don't know, click here for a full explanation. I'm not here to school on it. What I am here to talk about is the lessons that I learned from it. When things were heating up about a month or so ago, I decided to make a personal portrait session out of the whole thing. So on an over cast day after going to the gym, while my boys were in camp, I ran over to my local Market Basket armed with my camera and just made myself at home on the picket lines. There was a strike going on with the workers and a boycott from their customers. The workers for Market Basket had given up their lives and brought a billion dollar grocery store to it's knees and I wanted to show who those folks were. They were so happy I was there and were more than eager to let me photograph them. I was surprised to find zero reporters there. I was happy to find that NO ONE was shopping there and everyone was supporting these devoted, hard working, passionate folks that loved their jobs.
The story has a happy ending. Their boss Artie T. purchased Market Basket outright from his corrupt family and all his loyal employees returned to work. The stores were flooded with customers almost immediately.
So why was capturing these folks so important to me? Well, as I heard their stories and looked into their eyes I realized that, we as a country need to pay attention to what the workers of Market Basket did. It's bigger than you think. I find more and more that we as a society are giving up. We post all kinds of things on Facebook to motivate and while it works, it does something to us. It makes us work less. We want things done instantly. Everything we have is pretty much on demand, thanks to technology. But in order to get what you want in life, YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR IT. YOU HAVE TO FIGHT FOR IT. As a country run more and more by large corporations, I sometimes feel like "what the hell can I do, I'm powerless. I hate this about our schools, I can't stand this about our town, why this, why that?" It's enough to make anyone feel defeated. But when I looked into the eyes of these passionate people, I was moved. I was motivated. When you go into most grocery stores today who works there? I bet you don't even know who they are. I bet you don't even think about who they are when they go home at the end of the day. At Market Basket, it's people that government and most folks tends to turn a blind eye to. They are teens, seniors, immigrants, special needs people and just your average guy and gal. But these people have lives. And they gave that up for something they believed it. They didn't ask for change...THEY DEMANDED IT! I'm so tired of hearing people say, "Why bother, nothing's going to change". As a parent of a child with special needs, actually two kids now (just found out our other kid has a pretty serious reading disorder) I can't begin to tell you how I have had to fight our school system's special education department. But I don't ask for what I need, I tell them what I want. When our school was fighting our superintendent for an additional third grade class, because two classes of 30 is unacceptable, many parents said to me, "yeah, you'll never get that...good luck with that. People have asked the Superintendent for that before and she always says no". My response...."Oh yeah, you are doing it wrong, you don't ask her. You TELL HER!" We worked together. We got mad. We didn't take NO for an answer. We fought her and fought her. And just like those passionate workers at Market Basket, WE WON.
I really wish this country would really pay attention and learn for the people of Market Basket. We need to stick together and fight for what we want in our lives. No matter what it is. These were people that would rather loose their homes than work for a corrupt company owner. They were going to give up everything for what they believed it. And guess what???? THEY MATTER!!!! AND THEY WON. And we can win too ya know. No matter what the fight is. You just have to believe!!!
Here are some photos from my shoot that day. And here is the link to view the entire gallery.