Employees React to Market Basket Board's Proposal

Workers say proposal to bring ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas back in a different role is a setup

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Market Basket employees are not buying the board's bid to bring Arthur T. Demoulas back in a separate role from CEO. (Published Saturday, Aug 9, 2014)

    Market Basket employees continue to stand with ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas despite an offer late Friday from three independent directors.

    They proposed bringing back Arthur T., but not as CEO.

    "They want him to come back, and they just are going to give him the boot again," said meat cutter Rodger Picanso. "They don't want him in charge of the company."

    Demoulas rejected the plan, saying through a spokeswoman that this is an attempt for him to stabilize the company while they consider selling to an outside bidder.

    Employees aren't buying the offer, either.

    "All they want to do is they really just want to build the company up again and then they just want to sell it to someone else, which I think is wrong," said cashier Laura Ghio.

    "For them to come back and say, 'Hey, we'll let you come back, but not in a CEO capacity,' to me, it just sounds like a setup," said front end manager Rob Harrington.

    The board responded to Arthur T. Demoulas Saturday with a statement that read, in part, "Twenty-five thousand associates and two million customers shouldn't be held hostage for a business deal between shareholders. We all need to get back to work, stock our shelves and allow our customers to return to shop. Clearly, each side has sets of proposals to solve the impasse - there are enough proposed solutions out there to begin a serious negotiation ... We are ready [to] meet, anytime, anywhere."

    In the meantime, the protests continue outside Market Basket stores. Inside, it remains a ghost town. On what would normally be a very busy Saturday morning, business there is down 90 percent.

    Arthur T. Demoulas has offered to buy back the company - one of several offers being considered by the board of directors, which is run by his rival cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.

    Saturday is also the final day part timers will be getting paid. Their hours had been cut because of this standoff.