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His Former Factory Set To Close, Chelsea Man Goes To The Mattresses

This article is more than 10 years old.
Edward Bates, left, celebrates a lighthearted moment with mattress salesman Ralph Melen. Bates saved 70 jobs by buying back his old manufacturing company when Spring Air shut it down in May. (Meghna Chakrabarti/WBUR)
Edward Bates, left, celebrates a lighthearted moment with mattress salesman Ralph Melen. Bates saved 70 jobs by buying back his old manufacturing company when Spring Air shut it down in May. (Meghna Chakrabarti/WBUR)

If you’ve been yearning for good news recently, this is it.

It all began Monday, May 4. A management-led buyout at Spring Air, a major mattress company, had failed, forcing the company to shut down almost all of its factories, including one in Chelsea.

“I came here that Monday morning,” said Ralph Melen, 77, a salesman in the mattress business for more than 50 years. “People were outside, standing there, and they had security people, wouldn’t let anybody in.”

This program aired on May 13, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.

Meghna Chakrabarti Twitter Host, On Point
Meghna Chakrabarti is the host of On Point.

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