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Market Basket Grocery Standoff Eases as Governors Intervene

Image: Market Basket Grocery Standoff Eases as Governors Intervene
In this July 29, 2014 photo, Market Basket grocery store employees stand in front of the Leominster, Massachusetts store in support of Arthur T. DeMoulas. (Kenneth Martin/Landov)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 11:36 AM

The Market Basket grocery store chain standoff that has led to a large employee walkoff after the firing of its chief executive officer is showing signs of easing with the involvement of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassen.

The family-owned company has been embroiled in controversy since the ousting of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, led by his rival and cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, according to Boston.com.

The firing sparked an employee walkout and a customer boycott that has extended into its fifth week.

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The Boston Herald reported Tuesday that Market Basket lost a major vendor in Boston Sword & Tuna, with its chief executive Tim Malley saying he was upset with the "continual blunders" by the company, including overpaying them nearly $500,000 in recent orders.

"We think the time has nearly run out for saving this great institution and all those who depend on it," Malley told the Herald in a statement. He took a shot at Market Basket's board of directors, telling the Herald, "We do not hold either of the CEOs personally responsible. We think the problems are higher up."

The Boston Globe reported that after discussions with Patrick and Hassen, family members agreed to attempt to work out a deal to save the company by week's end. The Globe wrote that unnamed sources told it that the company, which had threatened to fire striking employees, will hold off on any worker action while negotiations are happening.

A company hoping to buy the chain of 71 stores, Hannaford Bros. Co., has reportedly talked to Arthur T. Demoulas about running Market Basket if it is successful in buying his cousin's share of the business, sources told the Globe.

Experts told the Globe that Market Basket is reaching a critical time in the dispute because the employee walkout has kept fresh food from making it to its chains and the stores are losing its ability to operate effectively.

"The company's cash position is lousy," Kevin Griffin, publisher of the Griffin Report on Food Marketing, told the Globe. "It's in a really tough spot right now."

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The Market Basket grocery store chain standoff that has led to a large employee walkoff after the firing of its chief executive officer is showing signs of easing with the involvement of Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassen.
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2014-36-19
Tuesday, 19 Aug 2014 11:36 AM
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