Market Basket Walkout, Boycott Continue Without Resolution

Jim Theriault, assistant store manager of the Londonderry Market Basket, said Tuesday, Aug. 26, that a meeting of the Market Basket Board of Directors scheduled last weekend didn’t take place.

“I don’t feel that they’ll be meeting until after Labor Day. I heard there were no meetings of the Board scheduled for this week,” Theriault said.

The employee walkout and customer boycott of Market Basket began after Arthur T. DeMoulas was ousted as chief executive officer of the company on June 23. Market Basket warehouse employees and truck drivers soon walked off the job and have subsequently been fired, and store employees followed suit six weeks ago and have been requesting that customers boycott the stores. Two weeks ago, all part-time employees saw their hours reduced to zero because of the lack of sales, and Londonderry store manager Mark Lemieux said his store reduced the hours of over 400 part-time employees to zero.

Last Friday protesting workers were told to return to their jobs or be fired.

“That never took place,” Theriault said.

Since the employee walkout and firings of some executives, some businesses have discontinued doing business with DeMoulas/Market Basket. One such business is Londonderry’s Moonlight Meadery.

Michael Fairbrother, founder at Moonlight Meadery, said he stopped doing business with Market Basket several weeks ago.
“I worked at Market Basket from 1982 to 1987,” he said. “I knew the executives because I worked at the computer room down in Tewksbury (corporate headquarters) so when all these people either quit or got fired with the firing of Arthur T. DeMoulas, I looked at it and said ‘why would we want to continue to do business here if there’s no one to do business with and they are getting behind on their payments.’ And they are still behind on their payments. So we made the choice three or four weeks ago to no longer do business with them until the return of the previous management team.”

Over the past few weeks New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick have met with Arthur T. DeMoulas and his cousin Arthur S. DeMoulas in hopes of ironing out the impasse.

While state officials have said they are cautiously optimistic, there is no word on whether the stores will be sold, whether Arthur T.’s offer to buy the remaining stock would be accepted, or whether the stores will remain open.

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