Market Basket job fair proves a quiet event
“There was no question in our minds that nobody was coming to this,” said company controller Mike King, one of a couple hundred employees who showed up not to attend the job fair, but to protest the event held at the company’s perishable distribution center.
The job fair was presented as a chance for employees to replace supervisors and managers who have interrupted deliveries to the chain’s 71 stores by calling in sick and attending rallies and protests demanding the reinstatement of former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. “I think they were just trying to separate us,” said Richard Fichera, a district deli and seafood supervisor who has 34 years invested in the company.
The only traffic in and out of the distribution center appeared to be members of Market Basket management who work in the building.
Workers standing outside dubbed the event a “job farce” and said it was a scare tactic with a divide-and-conquer edge.
Co-CEOs Felicia Thorton and Jim Gooch sent out a last-minute message offering associates, who wanted to apply for jobs but were worried about safety, the option of emailing their résumés to the corporate office.
“We are a very respectful, united workforce,” said Peters. “We pride ourselves on that. If someone gets excited, we calm them right down.”
“People are getting a little weary, a little tired and a little angry,” said Seabrook resident Nancy Lewis, a customer who came to picket the job fair with her neighbor, Betsy Coggins. “But you have to regroup and continue the fight,” said Lewis.