Market Basket workers to protest CEO firing

The Associated PressJuly 17, 2014 

— Some office workers at the Market Basket supermarket chain's headquarters are planning to walk off the job Friday to protest the firing of their former boss.

An employee group loyal to former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas had written to the new co-chief executives demanding that Demoulas be reinstated and to receive an answer by 4:30 p.m. Thursday. Demoulas lost his job in June after a long-running family battle for control of the privately held company.

"We will not work for anyone but ATD," they said in a memo posted on Facebook.

The new CEOs, Felicia Thornton and Jim Gooch, said in a letter to workers Thursday that those who don't do their jobs could be fired.

"If you choose to abandon your job or refuse to perform your job requirements, you will leave us no choice but to permanently replace you," they said.

Thornton and Gooch say the power to reinstate Demoulas lies with the board, which plans a telephone conference on the workers' demand on Monday and a full meeting July 25. The CEOs said at least two employee representatives are invited.

Since Demoulas was fired, some workers have held rallies in support for him. They have said they fear the leadership change signals a new profit-taking approach that threatens employees' favorable work conditions and the bargains customers are used to.

The new executives say the company's direction hasn't changed, and employees won't lose their bonuses and profit-sharing plan.

The company has 71 stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

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