Malden Mills in Methuen, Mass is the maker of Polartec a fabric used by many outdoor companies to make insulated clothing. Polartec is made from recycled soda bottles. That in itself should provide a good reason to consider purchasing products made from Polartec.
On December 11th, an apparent boiler explosion caused a fire at the Malden Mills. Two weeks before Christmas was not the best of times for this to happen. The fire, which destroyed almost the entire 100-year old mill complex left 2,400 employees fearing that they would face a bleak Christmas with no jobs or paychecks on the way.
Aaron Feuerstein, the owner of the mills showed them that there really is a Santa Claus. Or at the very least a boss who cares. Two days after the fire, he announced that the company would rebuild in Malden, and not take the opportunity to rebuild elsewhere, perhaps where labor costs were cheaper. In addition he said many of the workers would be called back to work within 90 days.
Mr. Feuerstein was not finished here though. He promised the workers their $275 Christmas Bonus along with the traditional $50 gift certificates.
And yet, he still was not finished. A few days later he announced all employees would be paid their full salaries for at least 30 days and health benefits would continue to be provided.
Many people have registered surprise when they hear of this story. I know I did. It is rare in these times when large multi-national companies listen only to the voice of their stock-holders and ignore the plights of their employees to hear of a company that puts it employees first.