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Market Basket deliveries missed at Concord locations

"I Believe" signs popped up overnight at the Storrs Street Market Basket, supporting ousted CEO Arthur T Demoulas, as five managers head down to a protest at company headquarters.

(GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

"I Believe" signs popped up overnight at the Storrs Street Market Basket, supporting ousted CEO Arthur T Demoulas, as five managers head down to a protest at company headquarters. (GEOFF FORESTER/ Monitor staff)

At least five managers from the Market Basket on Storrs Street in Concord attended a rally at the company’s headquarters in Massachusetts yesterday to show support for ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas and rebellion against his replacements.

The store did not receive a scheduled delivery of perishable goods, including produce and deli products, said the one manager left behind to watch over the store for the day. If a scheduled delivery doesn’t arrive today, the store could begin to run out of perishable items. There are no deliveries on Sundays, he said.

The Market Basket on Fort Eddy Road also missed a delivery yesterday, the store manager said.

The missed deliveries are the first signs that an internal power struggle that has made headlines in recent months could soon affect shoppers at 71 stores across New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine.

The board of directors is scheduled to meet with protesting employees Monday, and again Friday, according to a letter from the company’s new co-CEOs, Felicia Thornton and Jim Gooch.

That letter also warned that any employees who didn’t show up for work yesterday were at risk of being permanently replaced.

The protesters aim to pinch off the flow of goods from the warehouse to the store – led by headquarters managers who order goods and the drivers who distribute them. Organizers have said more rallies are planned, according to the Associated Press.

The workers hope to force the board of directors to reinstate Demoulas, whom the board fired last month under the direction of his cousin and longtime rival Arthur S. Demoulas.

“We can shut this company down, and that is the only way we’re going to gain the attention of the board of directors,” said grocery supervisor Tom Trainor, one of about a dozen speakers at the rally, according to the Associated Press. “There is one way to make a greedy person listen – in his wallet.”

“It’s another part of the big game, the chess game,” said Ken Ficek, grocery manager at the Storrs Street store in Concord.

The store had been warned Thursday that yesterday’s produce and deli delivery wouldn’t be arriving. There was no warning yesterday about today’s truck, so he had no way of knowing whether it would arrive, he said.

On Thursday evening, employees at Storrs Street hung posters saying “I Believe” under a photo of Arthur T. Demoulas. Yesterday morning, the store manager and several others were at the Tewksbury, Mass., headquarters, chanting, waving signs and listening to speeches from some of the nine executives who have been fired or quit since the company’s board fired Demoulas. Crowds were reportedly bused in from other locations, and at times totaled more than 2,000.

The Fort Eddy Road store had no posters, and the manager there wouldn’t comment on the situation.

But the recording on the phone before he picked up was plaintive, desperate.

It may be just a coincidence, but the store’s telephone system played an old ballad by Air Supply yesterday afternoon, perhaps a message for someone, maybe Artie T., maybe the protesting employees. Over the crescendo of a synthesized symphony, the voice crooned, “I’m all out of love. I’m so lost without you, I know you were right, believing for so long.”

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

Legacy Comments3

This is one rebellion that should prevail, and would, if J-J-Jimmy Stewart were spearheading the effort. However, it seems unlikely 'old man Potter', aka Arthur S. Demoulas, will give in to reason. Where's Clarence when ya really need him?

It is very rare these days to see people actually standing up for their beliefs like this even at the expense of their jobs. He must have been a great boss and treated his employees with respect.

Well, I did my part and shopped at Hannaford yesterday $170 and talked my mother and others into boycotting Market Basket so that was about a $400 hit. I was reading last night about the two CEO's or board members who threatened to fire the protesters, both should know something about getting fired, both were fired in their last positions and one was forced out as the CEO of Radio Shack. I usually would not come down on the side of protesters but in this case, knowing all of the facts, Artie S. I believe I read where they are not unionized, Artie S., Thornton and Gooch, both fired from their last CEO posts need to think about what might happen. Instead of the customers getting that 4% back it might be paid double in union wages. Bunch of chowder heads.

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