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Hundreds were on hand at Market Basket's home office in Tewksbury, Mass., on Saturday for a rally in support of Arthur T. Demoulas. (BARBARA TAORMINA/Union Leader Correspondent)

Market Basket rally at home office draws hundreds

TEWKSBURY, Mass. - Hundreds of Market Barket faithful gathered in the parking lot of the Tewksbury store for a rally organized by customers.

The grassroots group COMB, (Customers of Market Basket), organized the event to both show support for workers and demonstrate their resolve to keep boycotting the supermarket chain until former CEO Arthru T. Demoulas is back at his desk.

"I can't believe the warmth and strength you've been exibiting," Epping, N.H., resident and customer Jeff Betterini called out to the crowd. "You are alive with Market Basket Strong."

Like many in the crowd, Sommersworth, N.H., resident Bobbi Dixon misses shopping at Market Basket, but promises not to return unless Arthur T. is reinstated.

"A lot of us have family members who work for Market Basket," said Dixon. "I have heard many, many stories about Artie T. and all he has done personally for employees."

Dixon said if the supermarket chain is sold to anyone other than Arthur T. Demoulas, she will never go back. For the past several weeks, Arthur T. has been negotiating a buyout of rival family members who own the controlling interest in the company and made the decision to fire the much loved boss last month.

Tom Gordon, one of eight senior superviors who were also fired last month for organizing protest and rallies, was at the Tewksbury event to cheer on customers and thank them for their support.

"This has been taking a toll on everyone," said Gordon. "But as long as the customers stay out of the stores, we'll be OK."

Gordon also said he thinks a solution to the month-long standoff is coming soon.

"Arthur T. is too good a boss," he said. "He would have told us if he thought we couldn't win this."

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