When New Bedford Market Basket Workers Staged a Job Action
The summer of 2014 was intense for employees and customers of Market Basket stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, including the Market Basket location in New Bedford.
On June 23, 2014, the Board of Directors of DeMoulas Supermarkets, Inc., the parent company of Market Basket, fired beloved President and CEO Arthur T. DeMoulas. The board's action resulted in a chain-wide job action that lasted more than six weeks.
Market Basket was founded in 1917 in Lowell, Massachusetts, by Athanasios DeMoulas and Efrosini DeMoulas. The company is headquartered in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, and has 90 stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine.
The dismissal of Arthur T. DeMoulas, engineered by his cousin and board member Arthur S. DeMoulas, sparked an employee job action that lasted from June 24, 2014, to August 27, 2014, when employees returned to their jobs.
On August 26, 2014, Arthur S. DeMoulas agreed to sell his share of the company to Arthur T. DeMoulas for $1.5 billion. Arthur T. DeMoulas returned as CEO, and the job action was over.
During the six-week struggle, many Market Basket employees remained on the job and participated in pickets and rallies during their off hours. Store shelves emptied quickly as deliveries were few and far between.
Many Market Basket customers shopped elsewhere during the job action but loyal customers continued to buy what they could find at their favorite Market Basket location.
I remember employees at the New Bedford Market Basket store thanking me for continuing to shop there during the job action because they wanted to send a message to the Board of Directors but did not want the store to close.
Employees dropped their smocks and posted signs of support for Arthur T. DeMoulas in the center of the New Bedford Market Basket store while the job action lasted.