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Vinegar Failed, So DeMoulas CEOs Now Try Wooing Workers With Honey

Jul 23, 2014 05:02AM ● By Bill Gilman
Time for Plan B.
When talk of worker protests and sick-outs began circulating last week, DeMoulas co-CEOs Felicia Thornton and Jim Gooch responded with a letter that threatened the jobs of any employees who failed to report for work or do their job.
After the initial protest, Thornton and Gooch fired seven of the leaders of the movement, hoping it would show they meant business and intimidate other protesters into dropping their efforts to have Arthur T. DeMoulas re-instated as CEO and president.
That resulted in an even bigger rally, empty store shelves and losses estimated by some business experts to be in the millions each day.
Thornton and Gooch have now shifted gears. In response to a statement released Monday by Arthur T. DeMoulas, in which he praised the hard work of the managers and employees and requested that the fired employees be re-hired, Thornton and Gooch released a statement of their own Tuesday. This time, the tone was more conciliatory and complimentary of the workers. However, they dug their heels in regarding the fired employees and never addressed the issue of Arthur T. DeMoulas' status with the company.
The statement reads, in full, as follows:
“We share many of the sentiments that Arthur T. Demoulas articulated in his statement. The success of Market Basket and the loyalty of both its associates and customers is indeed the result of the dedication and hard work of thousands, from all ranks of the company. Our cashiers and store associates are as important as senior executives. The individuals who were terminated took significant actions that harmed the company and therefore compromised Market Basket’s ability to be there for our customers. We took the difficult step of termination only after we saw no alternative. We are committed to continuing the tradition of excellence and dedication that has been built over several decades. We strongly encourage all associates to return their focus to Market Basket’s customers, their needs and expectations. We understand the strain and emotion facing Market Basket associates. We know and understand that trust and acceptance are earned and cannot be demanded or imposed. We are committed to earning the trust and acceptance of our associates and Market Basket’s customers and hope that our associates will judge us not on our promises, but on our actions as we move forward.”
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