Market Basket mutiny threatened; company says it can't rehire beloved CEO
The two spoke in a statement that ran in Thursday's edition of the Boston Herald. The statement was issued by Felicia Thornton and Jim Gooch, who were appointed to fulfill the role of Demoulas after he was fired on June 23.
“This morning, several employees informed us that they require an answer on their demands by the end of day (Thursday),” the statement reads, according to the Boston Herald.
“When we attempted to acknowledge their concern and respond on the status of the request, these employees instead left the meeting. We also are aware of a memo they issued, although it was not immediately given to us by these employees. This behavior is not appropriate nor is it in keeping with Market Basket's culture of respect.”
The two said they had already communicated the demand to the board chairman, Keith Cowan.
In a post on the We Are Market Basket.com website, a Market Basket employee said they had been waiting for a week to get a response to their demand that Demoulas be reinstated.
“We think it is inappropriate and disrespectful to keep us waiting for a week for that answer,” said Tom Trainor, who did not indentify himself further, other than “41 years of living and learning Market Basket Culture.”
He wrote that workers are termed “associates,” not employees, at Market Basket. He asked Thornton and Gooch to not refer to Market Basket as “our company.” And he asked them to not reference the culture of Market Basket.
Full text of earlier story continues below.
Market Basket mutiny threatened
Demoulas and two other top executives were fired June 23.
“We will not work for anyone but ATD,” the memo, shown below, reads.
Managers of all 72 New England Market Basket stores endorse the effort, Gulezian said. And while managers will stay on the job and keep stores open, he questions how long the stores will be able to operate.
The first to go would be perishables such as dairy, meat and produce, he said. The store will run out of most perishables in three days, he said.
The standoff intensifies the crisis that developed for the tightly owned company in late June, when a reshuffled board of directors fired Demoulas. Also shown the door that day were Bill Marsden, director of operations, and Joe Rockwell, vice president of grocery sales and merchandising.
And they held an improptu meeting last week with Demoulas’ two replacements. In the meeting, corporate workers told Demoulas’ replacements they would no longer obey them until they transmit the message to rehire Demoulas, said operations supervisor Joe Schmidt in an interview Monday on WBZ Radio’s Nightside program.
“We felt the co-CEOs (Thornton and Gooch), they really want to strip mine this company,” Schmidt said in the interview. “Greed certainly appears to be the motivating factor in this.”
“We understand this has been a very emotional time for the organization,” they said in the statement. “We are trying to be respectful as employees work through the challenges of the transition.”
Gulezian said he’s confused about the message coming from the new company leaders. The leaders said they’re not going to change anything. But if that was the case, why did they fire Arthur T. Demoulas and the two other executives? he said.