Worker protests continue at Market Basket

BIDDFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Workers at the Biddeford Market Basket grocery store continued their protest Tuesday, trying to convince the company to bring back its recently fired CEO.

The store workers say Arthur T. Demoulas was a good boss, and cared about his employees. They say Demoulas was fired by the company board in an ongoing family dispute over how the Market Basket chain should be managed.

Since the protest began in Massachusetts last week, workers have refused to make deliveries to the stores from the store's warehouse, so shelves at the Biddeford store, and others, are now starting to get bare.

Assistant store manager David Smith says some perishable items, such as milk and bread, come directly from suppliers and are still in stock. But he says many other items, including many meats, fish and produce, come from the warehouse and are now in short supply. The produce shelves, in particular, were mostly bare on Tuesday.

Customers tell NEWS CENTER they're not happy about the situation, although those who were aware of the situation said they supported the worker protest.

Workers say Demoulas was "a great leader," and say he took a direct interest in workers at all levels of the company and helped people move up the ranks. They say board members were unhappy with the former CEO for expanding the chain too quickly, and for being "too generous" with employee bonuses.

Workers are asking customers to sign a petition, and they're also asking some of Maine's politicians to join them in putting pressure on the company. The Biddeford store is the only Market Basket in Maine, and employs nearly 500 people. The company employs more than 20,000 people in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.


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