Market Basket Battle Escalates

Joe Schmidt, a fired employee, and Eleanor Corcoran, a customer activist, weigh in

The battle for the future of Market Basket is a war of nerves - and three statements symbolize the escalation of the battle.

On Sunday, there was this statement from a spokesperson for Arthur T. Demoulas that said he has, in part, "offered to move immediately to return to work in advance of the completion of the stock purchase and work to bring back his full team to stabilize and begin to restore the business."

Monday, the new co-CEOs, James Gooch and Felicia Thornton, fired back with a statement that read in part: "We have heard from many associates who are interested in applying for internal positons, but are concerned for their safety if they attend the scheduled Job Fair. In response to their concerns, we are making available an email address to which associates can apply."

Jack Demoulas, Market Basket's director of dairy and frozen foods - and cousin to Arthur T. and Arthur S. - released his own statement midday: "I choose to keep our stores running, to keep everyone working and receiving a paycheck. Let Arthur T. and Arthur S. work this out… We have made a public circus out of a private dispute."

Joe Schmidt, a fired Market Basket operations supervisor, says no one at company headquarters or at the warehouse facility reported to work on Monday despite the new CEOs' deadline. He also calls Gooch and Thornton's implication of intimidation a "smokescreen."

"I think they realize that there's so much loyalty that exists with the co-workers, that, you know, someone isn't going to just apply for a position of a worker that has been fired, and quite frankly, there's only been eight people that have been fired," he said.

Eleanor Corcoran, a customer activist, says she was blown off when she attempted to present petitions at a recent Market Basket board of directors meeting.

"[Arthur S.] didn't even really look at me," she said. 

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