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Market Basket workers receive bonuses

Workers who went to bat for ousted Demoulas Super Markets president Arthur T. Demoulas were rewarded for their efforts this week.

Sources told SN that the company, parent of the Market Basket chain, paid out around $50 million in bonuses to workers this year, including a “special bonus.” The Lowell Sun newspaper reported the company paid out $44 million in bonuses last year.

Employees received separate checks for Christmas, Customer Service and “Special” bonuses, sources told SN. The special bonus — which was also paid to workers last year — was described as the equivalent of an extra week’s pay for most workers. Christmas bonuses tend to range from one to three week’s pay for workers, depending on their status and longevity.

Preserving annual bonuses was a major concern of Market Basket workers who walked off the job this summer in support of Arthur T. Demoulas, who was fired by the board then reinstated following agreement to buy the company from estranged family members.

Workers were concerned that the selling family — as well as new leadership installed following Demoulas’s departure — would reappropriate bonus money to other investments like management dividends. Although no specific plans to limit or eliminate bonuses were advanced, minutes of company board meetings indicated that the authority to award bonuses was among the longstanding sources of strife between Demoulas and the board.

Workers were clearly appreciative of the effort.

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