Market Basket Employees Vow To Take Company Back
Market Basket employees continue to protest the actions of the company’s board of directors. The board ousted Arthur T. Demoulas as company president and CEO as well as VP Joseph Rockwell and longtime Operations Director Bill Marsden on June 23. On June 24, hundreds of Market Basket employees rallied at a Chelsea, Mass., store to protest the firing.
On July 9, employees held a meeting at the Tewksbury, Mass., headquarters of Market Basket, with about 75 company managers, directors, supervisors, buyers and assistants attending, according to both the wearemarketbasket.com website and the “Save Market Basket” Facebook page, which had more than 20,000 likes as of July 11.
“The agenda consisted of one item: this is OUR company and we want ATD (Arthur T. Demoulas) back, period,” a post says. “Resistance has turned into defiance.”
Marsden has said that the board’s actions were “driven by greed, pure and simple.
“Arthur T. Demoulas continued the tradition of his father, promising customers ‘More for Your Dollar,’” Marsden said. “He implemented a 4 percent across-the-board price cut for 2014 at a time when people needed it. In reaction, some board members threatened his job and litigation, so concerned were they that this would cut into the company’s profit.”
The board selected Felicia Thornton and James Gooch as Market Basket COO and chief administration officer, respectively. They both had served as consultants to the company prior to the June 23 election and now serve as co-CEOs reporting to the board of directors.
The posts to the employee website and Facebook page said that Thornton and Gooch were called into the July 9 meeting, where they were told “in no uncertain terms that from this moment on Market Basket is to be run by the people who know it best… Market Basket is OUR company and we have had enough of playing along and waiting for others to destroy it … the only way this can be resolved is to bring ATD (Arthur T. Demoulas) back as CEO with full authority … Today we have declared our independence from them (the board) and encourage all stores to do the same.”
Nearly a year ago, Arthur T. Demoulas escaped an anticipated termination during a board meeting. Outside the meeting, more than 2,000 employees rallied to his support.
The Demoulas family has internally feuded over company management and control for decades. Currently, Arthur T. Demoulas is opposed by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas. At issue are disbursement of company profits, company expansion plans and operating procedures, including the 4 percent discount for all shoppers on all purchases.