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A Brief Background About Market Basket’s Protest

Photo via “SAVE ARTIE T. & SAVE MARKET BASKET!!” facebook page.

The Demoulas/Market Basket feud has been going on in the background for decades, but it’s now gaining national attention after this past weekend’s rallies. Some people are still wondering what’s going on and why these rallies are being held.

The first Market Basket rally took place on July 18, 2013. That rally was held at the company headquarters in Tewksbury in support of then CEO Arthur T. Demoulas after his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas had threatened to fire him and members of the company’s Board of Directors. A few months later the Board was re-organized and this past June, Arthur T. was fired and replaced by co-CEOs Felicia Thornton and James Gooch.

Over 2,000 employees and supporters rallied at the same location this past Friday demanding Arthur T. be re-instated as CEO. Employees from the company warehouse and main office, along with truck drivers, took sick days to stand united at the rally. That led to a freeze on Friday’s product deliveries to all 71 stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and Maine. The company hired new drivers to make the Friday deliveries on Saturday.

On Monday, nearly 4,000 people filled the Tewksbury Market Basket parking lot in support of Arthur T. and the eight employees terminated over the weekend for their roles in organizing and participating in Friday’s rally. The warehouse and main office continue to be closed.

Seventeen lawmakers from Massachusetts and New Hampshire have also joined the movement by signing a letter urging customers to boycott the company until the issue is resolved. Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan have made statements asking management to listen to the concerns of their employees.

Employees in stores across the company have now begun to walk out and rally outside their stores. They are asking for Arthur T. to be brought back because they do not have faith in the new management of the company. They have fears of stores being sold off and cuts to the company’s employee profit sharing.

The Board of Directors have a meeting scheduled for Friday in Tewksbury to speak with management about the situation.

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