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BIDDEFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Market Basket employees and customers from Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts continue to rally in support of ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.

Demoulas was fired by the company in late June after decades of in-fighting among family members who control the privately owned company.

Today, supporters held signs alongside the entrance of the Market Basket store in Biddeford, which is the only one in Maine.

Customers signed a petition refusing to shop at the store until Demoulas is allowed back in the company.

Workers estimate thousands of signatures have been collected across the chain's 71 stores.

"For the last year we have spent trying to build our customer base and getting all these new customers to come in. And you know, here we are today asking them not to come in," said Store Director Micum Mcintire. "It really is heartwrenching. We're all sticking our necks out here and we're all very concerned about our jobs and we're all concerned about our associate's jobs."

As the protests continue, Market Basket is appealing to workers to return to the grocery stores.

The Market Basket Board made a statement last night that says, in part: There would be no penalty or discipline "for any associate who joins in what will be a significant effort to return to Market Basket."

The statement also said there would be no changes to compensation or benefits for those who decided to come back to work.

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