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Monday, July 21, 2014

NH governor calls for end to Market Basket showdown

CONCORD – With shortages beginning to hit some Market Basket stores, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan on Monday issued a statement calling on the company’s executives to listen to employees and “quickly address” what she called an “evolving situation” at the grocery chain.

Shelves began to go bare at some Market Basket locations around New Hampshire and Massachusetts this weekend as scores of employees refused to perform their duties, protesting the ouster of the company’s former CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas. ...

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CONCORD – With shortages beginning to hit some Market Basket stores, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan on Monday issued a statement calling on the company’s executives to listen to employees and “quickly address” what she called an “evolving situation” at the grocery chain.

Shelves began to go bare at some Market Basket locations around New Hampshire and Massachusetts this weekend as scores of employees refused to perform their duties, protesting the ouster of the company’s former CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas.

Strife at the grocery chain has interrupted deliveries and led to widespread calls for a boycott of the company’s stores. The tumult spilled into the realm of politics Sunday, as more than two dozen Massachusetts lawmakers pledged to support a boycott of the store.

Hassan, a first-term Democrat, became one of the most high-ranking politicians to address the situation on Monday, saying that she is heartened to see “just how much the workers of Market Basket value the company.”

In a statement issued by her office, Hassan said that New Hampshire consumers have benefitted from the strong bond Market Basket formed with its workers through “fair treatment, support and respect” in the past.

“I encourage Market Basket leadership to continue in that spirit by listening to their employees’ concerns and seeking to quickly address the situation with a focus on keeping their dedicated workers employed and reducing the impact on customers,” Hassan said.

Hundreds of Market Basket workers returned to the store’s headquarters in Massachusetts Monday to demand that Demoulas be reinstated. It was the second large-scale protest in favor of Demoulas since Friday, when managers and low-level employees alike called in sick or walked off the job to show their support for their former boss. Market Basket’s board of directors was expected to meet Monday morning to discuss the situation.

The company has 71 stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, including more than 25 in the Granite State.

Jim Haddadin can be reached at 594-6589 or jhaddadin@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Haddadin on Twitter (@Telegraph_JimH).