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Grocery workers rally for fired chief executive

  • Market Basket employees from the Billerica, Mass. store, from left, Larry Frost, Chris Schaefer and Leighann Hodgkins, cheer during a rally at Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Market Basket employees from the Billerica, Mass. store, from left, Larry Frost, Chris Schaefer and Leighann Hodgkins, cheer during a rally at Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Protesters clasp hands at a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Protesters clasp hands at a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Eight-year employee Jimmy St. Cyr Jr. of Fitchburg, Mass. applauds during a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Eight-year employee Jimmy St. Cyr Jr. of Fitchburg, Mass. applauds during a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Protesters cheer during a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Protesters cheer during a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Protesters hold hands for a prayer at the start of a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Protesters hold hands for a prayer at the start of a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • In this image made with a fish-eye lens, a toy truck sits on a platform as people start to assemble for a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    In this image made with a fish-eye lens, a toy truck sits on a platform as people start to assemble for a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Protesters holding "Arthur T" signs taunt an occupant of a car driving into a Market Basket Supermarket job fair in Andover, Mass., Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. The company set up a job fair for its workers to replace colleagues who walked off the job to protest the firing of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. Executives at the troubled Market Basket supermarket chain in New England stepped up their efforts to fight back against a workers' revolt and customer boycott that have paralyzed the company and drawn attention for their unusual demand to reinstate the previous CEO. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Protesters holding "Arthur T" signs taunt an occupant of a car driving into a Market Basket Supermarket job fair in Andover, Mass., Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. The company set up a job fair for its workers to replace colleagues who walked off the job to protest the firing of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. Executives at the troubled Market Basket supermarket chain in New England stepped up their efforts to fight back against a workers' revolt and customer boycott that have paralyzed the company and drawn attention for their unusual demand to reinstate the previous CEO. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Protesters clasp hands at a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Protesters clasp hands at a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • The outside of the old Rumford School, now called the Rumford Arts Center<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER Monitor staff)

    The outside of the old Rumford School, now called the Rumford Arts Center

    (GEOFF FORESTER Monitor staff)

  • A toy giraffe that has become a mascot for protesters to "stick their necks out for Artie T" looks out over a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    A toy giraffe that has become a mascot for protesters to "stick their necks out for Artie T" looks out over a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Longtime customer Nancy Kindler of Epping, N.H. becomes emotional during a rally in front of Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calingl for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

    Longtime customer Nancy Kindler of Epping, N.H. becomes emotional during a rally in front of Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calingl for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

  • Market Basket employees from the Billerica, Mass. store, from left, Larry Frost, Chris Schaefer and Leighann Hodgkins, cheer during a rally at Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Protesters clasp hands at a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Eight-year employee Jimmy St. Cyr Jr. of Fitchburg, Mass. applauds during a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Protesters cheer during a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Protesters hold hands for a prayer at the start of a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • In this image made with a fish-eye lens, a toy truck sits on a platform as people start to assemble for a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Protesters holding "Arthur T" signs taunt an occupant of a car driving into a Market Basket Supermarket job fair in Andover, Mass., Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. The company set up a job fair for its workers to replace colleagues who walked off the job to protest the firing of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. Executives at the troubled Market Basket supermarket chain in New England stepped up their efforts to fight back against a workers' revolt and customer boycott that have paralyzed the company and drawn attention for their unusual demand to reinstate the previous CEO. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Protesters clasp hands at a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • The outside of the old Rumford School, now called the Rumford Arts Center<br/><br/>(GEOFF FORESTER Monitor staff)
  • A toy giraffe that has become a mascot for protesters to "stick their necks out for Artie T" looks out over a rally outside Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calling for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
  • Longtime customer Nancy Kindler of Epping, N.H. becomes emotional during a rally in front of Market Basket in Tewksbury, Mass., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. Thousands of Market Basket supermarket employees and their supporters are calingl for the reinstatement of their fired CEO, even as the company began a three-day job fair to replace employees who have refused to work during a revolt that is costing the supermarket chain millions. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Thousands of workers and customers at the troubled Market Basket supermarket chain shouted “Bring him back!” yesterday at a boisterous rally designed to pressure management to reinstate the company’s fired chief executive or accept his offer to buy the New England chain.

The rally outside a Market Basket store in Tewksbury, Mass., was the fourth large demonstration workers have held since Arthur T. Demoulas was fired in June by a board controlled by his cousin and rival, Arthur S. Demoulas.

During the last two weeks, hundreds of warehouse workers and drivers have refused to make deliveries to the family-owned chain’s 71 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine, leaving stock severely depleted and prompting customers to shop at other grocery stores. The Market Basket chain, based in Tewksbury, is known for its low prices.

The rally had the atmosphere of an outdoor rock festival, as participants threw beach balls high in the air and music blasted from large speakers set up along the parking lot.

Workers carried signs with blown-up photographs of Arthur T. Demoulas, while loyal shoppers carried signs saying, “We are the customers. We quit.”

“We shall never back down . . . we shall not rest until Arthur T. Demoulas is brought back as our president,” Joe Schmidt told the crowd. Schmidt was one of eight middle managers fired by the company after they organized the first protests.

Workers hope that Arthur S. Demoulas’s side of the family will accept an offer from his cousin to buy the company. The board has said it is considering that offer as well as others.

Steve Distasio, manager of the Market Basket store in Raynham, spent his day off attending the rally with his two children and his niece. He said 30 to 40 other workers at his store also came.

“We’re here to support Artie T.,” he said. “It’s the only way to get the company back and running right.”

T.J. Cauley, an assistant produce manager at a Market Basket store in Seabrook, N.H., said he has been protesting outside his store with other workers on his breaks and days off for the past two weeks. He said he knows he could end up losing his job.

“I have concerns, but at the same time I will take the risk because this company has provided me with everything I’ve needed for the last 11 years,” he said. “Artie T. has made the company what it is. He’s genuinely interested in the associates as well as the customers.”

Lisa Hultgren, a customer who has shopped at market basket for 25 years, said she came to the rally to show her support for the workers.

“It’s one of the few grocery store chains where you can see the same people working there week after week, year after year,” she said. “They’re nice people. It’s a very small town feeling you get in the stores.”

On Monday, the two co-CEOs appointed to replace Arthur T. Demoulas stepped up their efforts to fight back against the workers’ revolt and customer boycott.

Felicia Thornton and Jim Gooch said they heard from many employees who were “concerned for their safety” if they attended a job fair aimed at recruiting workers to replace those who have walked off their jobs. They said they would allow employees to apply for new jobs through email because they feel “associates interested in opportunity should be given an opportunity without fear of intimidation or harassment.”

Jack Demoulas, a cousin of Arthur S. Demoulas and Arthur T. Demoulas and the grocery chain’s dairy and frozen food director, urged workers Monday to return to their jobs and let the dueling sides “work this out.” He said the protests are hurting the company and have “made a public circus out of a private dispute.”

Legacy Comments9

UPDATED: Market Basket laying off part-time workers; about 8,000 NH employees affected, Gov. Hassan organizer says Nice work employees..you are going to be fired and now the company may go bust or be bought by Hannaford's

Congratulations to unbridled greed-style capitalism. The workers didn't destroy Market Basket. That gets laid entirely at the feet of greedy Arthur S and his greedy relatives who weren't satisfied with big monthly or quarterly payouts from a phenomenally successful business. No, they wanted theirs and they wanted it all at once. Well, they're going to get it - a fraction of what they would have got had they just stayed the course. Pigs! Nothing but pigs! There has NEVER been a better real-world illustration of Aesop's fable of killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. Laurie, you ought to have a kid read it to you sometime.

No they are not pigs. There is no animal that does to their own kind like human beings do. That is the worst name you can call them. These workers don't hate rich CEOs, they love their CEO Arthur T because he treats them with respect and not just a product of doing business.

Tillie, you must be having a rough day. No Arthur S and his group are not literally pigs, but "pig" is the common term to personify extreme greed/gluttony. Please, if you will, come up with a better word to describe them that is suitable for this forum, and I'll buy it gladly.

No Gracchus, I just have a lot of respect for pigs and all animals. Pigs are no greedier than other animal and they are highly intelligent. The lowest name I can think of for Arthur S and his CEOs are human beings. The same humans who are destroying the climate and thinking of new ways to kill each other every day. Humans who are so rich tike Koch they could never live long enough to spend it all but just wants more and writes editorials complaining about poor folks on food stamps. Yep, Human Beings, that is the name for them.

I give up. In German it's "Schwein," French "cochon," Yiddish, "khazzer," Portugues "porco." Every language I have any familiarity with uses their word for "pig" in that way. If you have a better - publishable - word, fine, I'll be happy to use it. Human being? OK. Are you sure you want to paint the Pope, Dalai Lama, my wife and any number of other good souls with the same brush as Arthu S?

Oh Lordy All I was saying please do not defame pigs that way. Maybe I am cynical but the world is not in the shape it is because of pigs or any other animal.

huh...not a comment...guess everyone has had enough of this story.

It just took a little time for the usual suspects to jump at each other. All that's missing is Dirty Larry

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