Tensions flared up and emotions ran high Friday as a deadline for 200 employees to return to work or lose their jobs passed with no one going back into Market Basket's headquarters in Tewksbury, Massachusetts.
A truck was involved in a situation after things took a bit of a turn. A witness says 27-year-old truck driver Ira Forbes started pointing and yelling at protesting employees, and they reacted with the same. The witness says the truck driver then got out of the truck with a hammer and went after two people. Tewksbury Police then allegedly tackled the driver to the ground.
A Market Basket spokesperson said in a statement: "We are thankful that local police intervened and that no one was injured. Market Basket of course condemns the driver’s actions. Both the driver and the company for which he worked have been terminated, effective immediately."
Tewksbury police have charged Forbes with disorderly conduct and assault. Forbes is a native of Brooklyn, New York.
With the employees' and customers' protests in its fourth week, Friday's deadline comes a few days after Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick urged workers to return to work, too.
Meanwhile, religious leaders from the Merrimack Valley urged the Demoulas clan to settle their ongoing dispute to help the communities their supermarket chain Market Basket serves.
"We feel that prayer, gathering the spiritual energy of our people. The governor does what he can do, I applaud him for doing what he did, but I think that we can add on to his energy our combined spiritual energy. We're willing to pray about this, this letter will be read in all of our parishes this week so that the people, too, can become more involved. They're suffering, but this hopefully will give them a voice," Father Paul Ouellette of St. Patrick's Parish said.