Worker demonstrations in protest of the firing of Market Basket president Arthur T. Demoulas continued on Monday as some parties called for a customer boycott of the retailer’s stores and product shortages reportedly affected at least some stores.
Workers on Monday gathered in the parking lot of a Market Basket store near company headquarters in Tewksbury, Mass. At least eight veterans of the company — said by workers to have been involved in demonstrations late last week — were let go by the company over the weekend, sources said. Management in a statement provided to SN Monday said of the dismissed workers: “Their actions continued to harm the company, negatively impacted customers, and inhibited associates' ability to perform their jobs.”
Multiple reports were posted to social media Monday of Market Basket stores being affected by out-of-stocks in produce and meat, resulting from disruption at warehouses. The dispute captured the attention of New Hampshire governor Maggie Hassan, who in a statement Monday called on management to “quickly address the situation with a focus on keeping their dedicated workers employed and reducing the impact on customers.”
Workers have demanded the reinstatement of Arthur T. Demoulas, who was fired late last month by the company’s board of directors. The board was scheduled to have met Monday but SN was unable to confirm whether that meeting went on as scheduled.
Felicia Thornton and Jim Gooch, newly named co-CEOs of the company, issued a statement Saturday in the form of an open letter to shoppers, apologizing for any impact to the customer experience the protests may have had. “We recognize transitions aren’t always easy and appreciate that this has been an emotional time for many associates,” the letter read. “Unfortunately, in response to the recent management changes, some have lost sight of the top priority — taking care of you — and instead have engaged in actions that harm Market Basket's reputation and prevent us from meeting our obligations to you."
Arthur T. Demoulas, in his first statement since his June 24 firing, on Monday called for workers who have been fired since he left to be reinstated.
"The success of Market Basket is the result of two things: a business model that works and the execution of it by a dedicated and impassioned team of associates," the statement read. "Their fierce loyalty to the company and its customers has always been deeply valued. In the final analysis, this is not about me. It is about the people who have proven their dedication over many years and should not have lost their jobs because of it. I urge that they be reinstated in the best interest of the company and our customers."