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Market Basket rally moved to Tuesday

New Hampshire Union Leader

August 02. 2014 11:34AM

Market Basket workers plan to rally in Tewksbury, Mass., on Tuesday morning, a day later than planned.

The change was to give more time to rally organizers to make parking arrangements and for police to hire additional staff, according to a top organizer, Steve Paulenka, a Londonderry resident terminated by Market Basket recently.

"Its purely a logistical thing," Paulenka said Saturday.

The rally will take place at 11 a.m. Tuesday near the Market Basket store at Stadium Plaza.

Most Market Basket customers are boycotting stores until the supermarket chain's ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas is returned to power. Some workers are picketing stores during their off hours while some have stayed off the job.

Tilton Store Director Mike LeClair told the New Hampshire Union Leader on Thursday that cash-register sales there were down 94 percent from normal.

“There is no store to my knowledge that has lost less than 90 percent (of its normal sales) and many of them are over 95 percent,” Paulenka said.

He predicted only 200,000 to 300,000 of Market Basket's normal 2 million customers will have shopped this week in stores, which are running low on some supplies, including produce and meat.

Instead of company officials taking out full-page newspaper ads looking to replace some workers, “they should have taken a full-page ad looking for customers because they're going to need them,” he said.

"They (customers) made it clear they're not coming back to we do and we're not coming back until the boss does," Paulenka said.

A company spokesman didn't immediately respond Saturday.

Previous rallies have turned out thousands of workers from three New England states, including New Hampshire. Market Basket operated about 30 stores in the Granite State.

The company's co-CEOs ordered all workers back to work Monday or face getting replaced.

The company also will be conducting a three-day job fair starting Monday in Andover, Mass.

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