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Arthur T. offers to return to work at Market Basket

Ousted Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas has offered to return to work today while he continues to negotiate a deal to buy the company, but the board has so far skirted his proposal.

Spokeswoman Justine Griffin of Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications released the statement on Arthur T.’s behalf last night. She said he hopes to “work to bring back his full team to stabilize and begin to restore the business.”

“These steps are critical at this point and are in the best interests of Associates, customers, vendors and shareholders,” the statement read. “Time is of the essence. Arthur T. is hopeful but resolution depends on the response of the other shareholders in order for an agreement to be reached.”

A family feud boiled over June 23 when the Market Basket board of directors fired the beloved CEO. Grocery buyers, truck drivers and other employees at the corporate headquarters in Tewksbury, Mass., have refused to work since July 21. As deliveries don’t show and shelves sit empty, employees at the chain’s 71 stores across New England have been protesting and calling for Arthur T.’s return.

Arthur T. 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. New co-CEOs Felicia Thornton and Jim Gooch have threatened to fire any employees who don’t show up for work today, and the company has scheduled three days of job fairs this week to fill any empty positions.

Arthur T. had offered to return as of midnight last night. But the Market Basket board responded about 11:30 p.m. with a statement of its own, which was reported by the Boston Globe.

According to the Globe, the statement encouraged other shareholders, including Arthur T., to continue providing “constructive proposals” for the company.

“The board fully supports the current management team in their efforts to ensure that Market Basket’s normal business operations resume immediately for the benefit of its customers, associates, vendors and communities,” the statement read.

(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321 or mdoyle@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)

Legacy Comments8

Arthur S. Wake up and smell the coffee. You are about to let your bruised ego ruin a successful company. Restore Arthur T. A CEO that has that kind of support from management and employees alike is unique in corporate America. Arthur S., if you want your customers back, re-instate Arthur T.

Again, this is a great movie plot, but the reality is very different. When you think about folks getting fired, and then looking to work at other groceries, do you actually think that other chains would hire folks who go on strike when they do not like a CEO getting axed? My guess is that any future employers would look at these strikers as problematic. There appears to be an issue with folks finding jobs in today's market. There also seems to be a lack of understanding how the board of labor determines if you can in fact collect unemployment if you are fired for not showing up for work. The basis for that is unfair labor practices and a host of other complaints. I am pretty sure the labor board does not see the firing of a CEO as justification for folks to collect unemployment. I fear these employees are not quite informed about their rights. Arthur T and Arthur S will not suffer, the employees who need work to feed their families will probably take the fall. A very sad story, with the media not informing the employees about the risks they are taking.

Breaking News! The Evil Empire, aka Arthur S., has sent an email informing all customers who do not resume shopping at Market Basket by Thursday August 7th, will be fired! Check your inboxes people.

Whoops! Just got mine.

Employees who need the paycheck should go to work, but there won't be any customers to serve. There is no way I'm shopping at Market Basket. I stand with the employees and Arthur T.

What I find very sad is the fact that the employees feel that their actions will result in business as usual and they will in fact force the board to bend to their wishes. Not going to happen. The feud has been going on for years between the cousins and that feud has not been settled, nor in my opinion will it ever be. The cousins have too much bad blood between them. That tells me that they cannot work together. It makes for great movie material that the employees favor Artie T, but the reality is that loyalty does not pay the bills for these employees if they get fired, the folks who supply MB with products are supplying other stores with goods, and chances are they will be reluctant to go back and supply MB with anything because of this feud. I read an article yesterday in the Boston Globe how suppliers are making deals with other folks like Whole Foods etc and are getting better deals for their goods. They state they will not go back to dealing with MB. The chain is too unstable with the fighting. So this whole show is most likely the end of MB or a savy buyer coming in and making an offer to buy them out. Why do you suppose Artie T has not set up his own markets? It would appear to me that he would do very well with his own chain.

Sadly, I agree with your assessment. I say sadly because it really is sad to see such self destructiveness. I too, have wondered why Artie T. doesn't start his own chain. He's obviously a capable CEO.

The board is still rebuffing Arthur T. Like Nero fiddling while Rome burned. It's sad to see people so stiff necked and self destructive. Too bad they're taking so many down with them.

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