Sunday, December 21, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;30.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/novc.png;2014-12-21 04:06:44
Friday, August 15, 2014

Market Basket managers told to remove all those ‘Artie T.’ signs

In the latest step of the long-running battle over the future of Market Basket, the company has told its store managers to remove any signs and other material at the company’s stores in support of ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas or asking for boycotts, and ensure that customers have “clear and unfettered access to the stores.”

The Aug. 14 email from co-CEOs Felicia Thornton and Jim Gooch was released by store managers to a number of media outlets Thursday. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

In the latest step of the long-running battle over the future of Market Basket, the company has told its store managers to remove any signs and other material at the company’s stores in support of ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas or asking for boycotts, and ensure that customers have “clear and unfettered access to the stores.”

The Aug. 14 email from co-CEOs Felicia Thornton and Jim Gooch was released by store managers to a number of media outlets Thursday.

Most Market Basket stores have had hand-made signs in support “Artie T.” since he was fired in June, and have been decorated with signs inside and out, since many managers and employees began seeking his reinstatement a month ago. That includes dozens of receipts from competitor stores taped to windows of stores as a sign that customers have taken their business elsewhere in a boycott.

Further, many stores have seen employees protesting outside – although in Nashua-area stores they have usually been on the edge of the property, not near the store entrance. It’s unclear how the new directive will affect those protests.

The email also says that requests for donations not approved by the company should be removed, an apparent reference to signs asking for money to help Market Basket part-timers who have had their hours reduced to zero in reaction to a sharp drop in business caused by the boycott.

Greater Nashua stores have been staffed entirely by full-time and salaried employees since Sunday. Generally, at least three-quarters of the people working in a Market Basket are part-timers.

The memo notes the “current, and unprecedented, situation” which “has obviously affected the traditional production metrics” – business terminology referring to weekly sales figures that stores are supposed to meet.

Thornton and Gooch have said that employees who walked out of the company headquarters and Massachusetts warehouse, a move which has cut off deliveries of most produce and other perishable items to the stores, must return by Friday or be fired.

Arthur T. Demoulas and his supporters own 49.5 percent of the company, and he is negotiating to buy the company from rival family members, including cousin Arthur S. Demoulas. The cousins haves sparred over the direction of the family business for decades, frequently in court. The current situation took place when Arthur S. and his supporters gained control of the board of directors and fired Arthur T.

Employees support Arthur T. out of a belief that his departure means the company’s relatively generous bonuses for its employees, including part-time employees, will end.