Laid off with no notice and no options
Nov 08, 2012 | 4802 views | 30 30 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
To the Editor:

I want to say thank you to my community, for the friendships, conversations, and smiles we have exchanged throughout my 45 years of service at our local grocery store. My career started when I was 14, working after school and weekends as your grocery clerk for $1/hour at O.O.Ware. You saw me stocking the isles of Grand Union for over 33 years and my last 11 years have been under Shaw’s management.

On Friday, I was informed that due to my “position, location, and length of service,” I was being laid off immediately. There was no notice, there were no options, I was not to finish the work day.

My brother, Walter, was also laid off three years ago after 45 years of service. We have been proud to serve you, we love this community and hope to continue the relationships we have formed with all of you outside of the store.

Shaws claims to be your neighborhood store, but gone are the days of experienced workers, company loyalty, and proud employees. Welcome to the new neighborhood store, where money can be made off part-time help with fewer benefits. It used to be if you were loyal to the company, they were loyal to you, not anymore. To Shaw’s I was a number and that number was up.

I look forward to the next chapter of my life. You will see me around town, continuing my service on the fire department as I have for over 40 years, serving my town as a budget committee member, playing softball in Brattleboro, or better yet, climbing Haystack. (Today will be trip #100 this year.)

So the next time you shop at Shaws, be sure to thank the management, if you can find anyone, and tell them how much you enjoy their neighborhood values. Oh, and be sure to check the dates on your milk before you buy.

Thanks again,

Jake White

Wilmington
Comments
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July21
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November 17, 2012
Jake? They laid off Jake? Are they out of their minds?The dairy section will be a cold and lonely place now. I am going to shop MORE at Blue Mountain Produce and the Jacksonville General Store. Done with Shaws!
N717
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November 15, 2012
Jake, as many have said before me, you will be missed for more than you being you. I often go to the back of the shelf to get the milk that expires the furthest out. When I went to Shaws the other day, guess what! They hadn't even rotated the stock. Isn't that Grocery Store 101? That never happened when you were there.

So let's all remember to buy from locally owned places - Blue Mountain Produce is now open year around and has quality fruits, produce and much more!
clarence2
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November 12, 2012
Viking, whether Jake is one of the nicest persons in Wilmington or nor is moot. This is not about any personalities. For one, I see no reason for a letter with this content even being published as it has become a common occurence.

Take a company with a 45 yr man, making $30 an hour with 6 weeks vacation and imagine the corporate cost. To remain competitive considering all the mandates of Obama's administration, it is no wonder the company would opt to trade Jake in for two employees each working 20 hours at $10 an hour with no benefits.

I have no proof of the accuracy of these numbers, but you get the point of the situation I am trying to present.

How many more letters will we see next week?
skipatrol
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November 13, 2012
Your point is correct but it has nothing to do with Obama, give me a break. This kind of corporate downsizing, position elimination, restructing, reorganization, etc., etc. has nothing to do with who the President is. It all started 30 years ago when Reagan was President and it wasn't him who created it either. As long as there are no employee protection systems in place at the state and or federal level this will continue forever. Being a great employee does not guarantee continuoius employment, it's all about what you cost the company even when it's not your fault. Over time all employees will get a raise each year no matter how small it is and the longer you are on the job the more money you eventually make and the company never planned to pay you that much. Wages are stagnet in this country due to the revolving door of eliminating long term employees and replacing them with lower paid new hires. The only chance an older employee has who was downsized is to look into an age discrimination law suit in federal or state court.

clarence2
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November 12, 2012
You are welcome DuffB.

In the immediate future there are going to be many of these same Jake Whites out there with their sympathetic story of "woe is me" and playing the role of the victim. If the Valley News blog gets 25-30 posts each and every time someone of their "locals" gets negatively impacted by the implementation of Obama's policies, the web will be overrun by these tales of woe.

To each and everyone who posted in sympathy......are you better off today than on November 12, 2008?
Viking2012
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November 12, 2012
- Although I completely agree with you on the downfall

of our country by Obama, please don't turn this into a political

forum. No, I did not vote for him and wonder how anyone could.

Jake isn't telling a tale of woe nor is he playing victim.

He's simply stating how an unfair practice that Shaw's and other

companies use has wiped out 45 years of hard-work and loyalty.

Yes, this is going to happen again and again to many people,

but let's just keep our thoughts for now on one of the nicest

men in Wilmington.

LutherBastow
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November 12, 2012
Jake- It has been and remains a pleasure to know you. I am truly sorry to hear of Shaws extremely short sighted decision to terminate your service to them and us. There has been little that they have done, if anything, to attract local customers and certainly now there is even more reason to avoid their stores. Being a former employer in the Valley for nearly forty years, I am keenly aware of the importance of being able to hire and retain dedicated and loyal employees. It is their shame that hey do not share the same insight. My best hopes for you and your family sans Shaws and I too have no further reason to use Shaws for any of my needs.

Peter Libby
areader2
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November 12, 2012
glad to see something everyone in the valley can agree on, shaws is super overpriced, hopefully people will start buying their grocery's elsewhere
dian1957
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November 10, 2012
Time for a boycott?

Bobbbo
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November 10, 2012
It remains SO important for us to support truly local businesses that feed our friends and neighbors with fair employment practices and commitment to service. Shaw's evidently is not that. Thankfully, we have truly local alternatives such as Blue Mountain Produce,Boyd Farm, Hillside Eggs, Jacksonville Store, River Bend and more . . . and even some of the more supermarkets in Bratt and Bennington for what we can't get locally. I'm adding Shaw's to my "Don't shop there, it doesn't truly support my neighbors" list. Did I hear the "boycott" word mentioned? :-)
clarence2
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November 10, 2012
No doubt anyone losing his / her job at this point is sad. I have read the previous fourteen comments on here and wonder just how many of you fourteen voted for Obama? Gonna be a lot more of this type stuff happening every day because of him and his policies. Get ready, the ride is a gonna be a rough one.
skipatrol
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November 10, 2012
Are you serious? The same thing happened to me at Mt. Snow in 1991 after nearly 25 years of service to that ski area. I had excellant performance reviews throughout the entire period but it was all about what I was being paid compared to what they wanted to pay me and Obama wasn't the President then.
DuffB
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November 11, 2012
I'm a native of Wilmington, lived there most of my life. Live in Missouri now, and am glad to see that someone back home has an ounce of common sense! The country is in the toilet, and all the obamacrats have there blinders on! Thanks for your ability to see through the smoke!
chap914
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November 15, 2012
Why don;t you put a lid on your Obama fixation. Neither he nor his administration had anything to do with the long established corporate practice of terminating older and more costly employees from non-technical unskilled jobs and replacing them with younger part timers to whom a corporation doesn't have to pay benefits and can get away with paying a significantly lower hourly wage.

And unfortunately its not something thats happening in rural Wilmington but is a fact of life nationally and has preceeded President Obama's first term.

Mowgli1
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November 09, 2012
Go away Shaw's: We don't want you, we don't need you. Our people deserve better.
Mowgli1
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November 09, 2012
Completely rediculous. Pay attention to our community loyalty folks... and support those businesses that comply. We stand above the corporate world still, and stand beside our neighbors.
PAULTOTHEWALL
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November 09, 2012
Jake, so sorry to hear about your job. Unfortunately, lay-offs just like yours are sweeping the country this week. Companies are laying off their full time employees are replacing them with part-time employees...or none at all.

Boeing laid off 30,000 this week, Pepsi will lay off 4,000 and scores of other large companies will do the same in weeks to come in wake of President Obama's re-election. These companies and thousands more said that if Obamacare was to move forward they could not afford coverage, and would be forced to have lay offs.

I suspect Shaw's is a company that is flirting with bankruptcy as it is and needs to take any necessary steps to ensure their survival.
Viking2012
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November 09, 2012
Jake, you'll always be My Hero!

Arriving with the Fire Dept. and helping us thru 4 feet of

fast-running water, is a memory we will always have. Your calm

strong presence was truly appreciated during that unforgettable flood of 2011.

Shaw's, you've made a Very Big Mistake. Good business

sense would tell you to keep the decent, loyal and hard-working

staff that you've had for years, not let them go without a moments

notice. The bottom line on your balance sheet should not take

precedence over long-term employee loyalty.

Jake was always there with a helping hand and a smile. When

an item couldn't be found, we looked for Jake,he knew where everything was. You can have our Shaw's card back, as we will

be shopping at Price Chopper and Market Basket.

Hans & Denise

Viking Motel

lisalookadams
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November 12, 2012
Very Well Said, Hans & Denise.
vtbeagle
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November 09, 2012
oh and by the way watch out for vermon, chipmonk and squirrels are running rampet up and and down the isle at night, check your packages, especially gluten free bread!!!

Also if you buy lobester or a meat plater beware! it did not come from shaws, the manager went and got it from another store as they were out!!!
e92v8luvr
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November 09, 2012
What a shame, the world could really use more Jake Whites around, not less.

With the prices of everything in Shaws, they should be able to hire everyone in town, with paid vacations.

Enjoy the sun up on the mountain today Jake!
Hope9195
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November 09, 2012
I WILL NO LONGER BUY ANYTHING AT SHAWS. FIRST IT WAS WALTER NOW JAKE. WHAT IS THIS COMPANY COMING TO THIS IS OUTRAGOUSE. YOU THINK GETTING RID OF SOMEONE THATS BEEN LOYAL FOR YEARS IS GOING TO KEEP CUSTOMERS COMING BACK. WELL YOUR WRONG. YOUR GOING TO LOSE PROFIT NOT GAIN.. JAKE IM GOING TO MISS SEEING YOUR FACE AT SHAWS.. ALONG WITH EVERYONE ELSE THAT THEY LET GO.. <3
HittheNailRightontheHead
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November 09, 2012
I hope a viewer out there can locate the Shaws corporate toll free phone number and post here for all of us to use.

This is a shame and area people should boycott I know I will. This is the second such letter I have read over the years with another lady getting the same treatment. Maybe set up a legal fund for this appears to be discrimination concerning age.
lolseriouslywtf
|
November 24, 2012
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WendyI
|
November 09, 2012
NOOOOOO! I am so sickened to hear this Jake....you were a part of my shopping experience for almost 3 decades.....always a polite and cheerful hello from you, help to find something, and generally just a lovely part of my shopping trips to Shaws. I cannot believe they would tank a man with so much value, experience and dedication. I will never set foot in Shaws again.....ever. I would encourage others to follow suit...in protest of this outrageously shoddy treatment of an employee that gave decades of great service to a company with no heart and soul. I pray you find work fast, as in this economy to lose a job is terrifying.

UnaPharmer
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November 09, 2012
Why do they always kill their golden goose? Ever increasing sales/profitability is a self destructive and suicidal strategy for a business and the community it serves. Pretty soon there is no one left with jobs or cash to shop at their stores, sales and profitability plumment and they wonder why... Stupid shits! Greed. Why is not a small, steady consistent profit enough for a corporate business? It is because their #1 goal is to siphon off every penny to shareholders in distant locations. I'm no expert, but I took some economics classes. What I learned is a strong working/middle class is what puts spending money into a community that allows growth for all, and for a business to flourish. The big corporations don't seem to realize or care that once they have laid off and cheaped out on everyone in town (the workers/shoppers/residents) there is eventually no one left to spend money in their stores. I work for the same parent company and my days are numbered too. At least those upper level corporate guys will still get million dollar golden parachutes for their part in abject failure to succeed. There ought to be a law and regulation or a third world country we soon will be. Sorry to hear such sad news also strikes my rural hometown.