Customers Make Opposition Known in Market Basket Dispute

Protesters demand reinstatement of ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas; Boston Globe reports business was down 70 percent by middle of week

The sounds and sights of protest remain outside Market Basket Saturday, with customers stepping into the dispute.

Workers and customers are demanding the reinstatement of the Arthur T. Demoulas, the supermarket chain's former CEO, who was ousted back in June.

Also Saturday, the Boston Globe reported that business at the chain was down by about 70 percent by the middle of this past week.

One day after a massive rally, which attracted an estimated crowd of 10,000 - most of them employees - Market Basket customers returned to some of the stores in much smaller numbers to continue the protest and show their support for workers and "Artie T."

The unprecedented job action is now a week old. Many of the stores and stores shelves are empty, with no end to the boycott in sight. The company's Board of Directors met Friday in Boston, saying it would consider Arthur T's offer to buy up the majority of stocks in Market Basket. But nothing has been decided, so some workers think they're getting the brush off from company big wigs like Arthur S. Demoulas.

The board voted to reaffirm its support for Felicia Thornton and James Gooch, the company's new co-CEOs. Market Basket is now telling employees they won't be disciplined if they return to work and there will be no change to Market Basket's unmatched compensation and benefits.

According to a report, business at Market Basket was down by about 70 percent in the middle of the past week.

The Boston Globe cites an unnamed source in its report on the state of the supermarket chain following days of protest and a boycott.

The conflict began when CEO Arthur T. Demoulas was fired in June, but a family feud dates back to 1971 and the former CEO faced a potential ousting last summer.

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