Congratulations to one of Wilmington’s finest, Jake White: hiker, fire fighter, hard worker with a great sense of humor, and now a hero for protesting his inhuman dismissal from Shaw’s.
Alas, as he mentions, his brother was fired before him, and before that several other senior employees and department heads were summarily let go. Because they didn’t wish their names known, nothing was publicly said. By standing up for himself, Jake stands up for all who’ve been and will be kicked onto the unemployed heap for no reason but corporate selfishness. To continue profitability, rather than improving the quality of fresh foods and groceries, Shaw’s management squeezes pennies out of employees’ hides.
According to our information, in the last 10 years Shaw’s has undergone three different corporate takeovers. It may look like a food store but it’s really just a front for cash registers. Nobody but nobody who runs the place cares who works there or what gets sold, only how much. We haven’t shopped there since the first firings four (or was it five?) years ago.
With gas trying to hang on at $4, we shop locally. When we have to run to Brattleboro or Bennington, we stop by Hannaford’s where the staff tell us that,though the company isn’t unionized, the managers adhere to a cooperative labor program and full-time employees enjoy full benefits. The company also has a vigorous program of “buying local.” No question but that such a store coming to town would bring many jobs with it.
We like shopping local. Blue Mountain Produce is now open year-round with first-class fruits and vegetables, some meats and groceries, milk, beer, and wine. Up the road, there’s a full market at River Valley Market, and still further up there’s West Dover Joe’s Market. A grocery store in the East Dover PO is about to re-open, much like the Whitingham store that prospers. In Jacksonville, the General Store is more accommodating than ever with its special meats and sausages and fresh fish.
In saluting the spirit of the Whites and of those who preceded them and those who’ll come after, we’d like people to join in thanking the Whites for all they’ve done, and do, and to remember there are enough fine little stores close by for all of us where money goes not for gas but for good things to eat.