Market Basket to workers: Return Monday or you’re fired.
Market Basket’s leaders are calling for all employees to return to work Aug. 4 or risk being replaced.
Many employees of the regional grocery chain have been on an unofficial strike since July 21, refusing to deliver fresh produce to the chain’s 71 stores until the board of directors reinstates ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.
“We want Market Basket associates back to work and reiterate that they can return without fear of penalty,” co-CEOs Felicia Thornton and Jim Gooch said in a statement issued last night.
“We understand that some associates may choose not to return, consequently we will begin advertising for employment opportunities,” they added.
Current employees can attend the job fairs, to be held at the chain’s corporate IT center in Massachusetts if they seek a job change or promotion, according to the announcement.
“Tradition has always been to promote from within. If existing employees seek to change positions. . . . first preference will be given to them,” the statement read.
The sessions for current employees are scheduled for Aug. 4 and 5 from 4 to 8 p.m., at 340 Ballardvale St., in Andover, Mass.
Outside candidates are invited Aug. 6, 1-8 p.m.
Managers and assistant managers of 68 of the 71 New England stores signed petitions saying they would resign if Demoulas isn’t restored “with full authority,” according to the Associated Press.
Demoulas offered last week to buy the 50.5 percent of the chain that is controlled by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas and his allies among the family.
The board has said that offer is one of several it is evaluating.
(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)