Defiant Board To Artie T: This Is Your Fault!
Market Basket employees protest along Main Street outside the Oakdale Mall location.
In a statement released to the media Tuesday afternoon, the board denied a report on Boston.com from earlier in the day that said other bidders had dropped out of the process, leaving only an offer by Arthur T. DeMoulas as the only offer left on the table.
The statement also made it clear the board believed Arthur T. was to blame for the company's recent difficulties. The statement read, in part, "While Mr. Demoulas’ offer provides a path toward solving many of the problems he has helped to create, it is but one alternative among the options the Board is reviewing."
Arthur T. DeMoulas and his cousin Arthur S. DeMoulas have been engaged in a bitter feud for two decades over control of the company their grandfather founded and their fathers built. In June, Arthur S. gained majority control of the Board of Directors and fired his cousin and two other top executives. The firing triggered an employee rebellion that slowly gained steam and grew into three massive rallies and a work stoppage that is entering its 13th day.
According to multiple published reports, the work stoppage has crippled the 71-store chain and is costing the company upwards of $10 million a day in revenue. Employees are picketing daily outside Market Basket locations, including Oakdale Mall and Stadium Plaza in Tewksbury. The workers have said they will not return to work until Arthur T. DeMoulas is re-instated as CEO/President or his offer to buy the company is accepted.
The longer the labor dispute drags on, the higher tensions are running. One Tewksbury resident, in an email to Your Tewksbury Today, complained that some protestors at the Oakdale Mall location were yelling at, cursing at and making obscene gestures at cars that refused to beep their horns in support of their efforts. Another resident reported that it appeared a protesting employee was photographing car license plates of shoppers parked at the Oakdale Mall store.
In the meantime, Market Basket has been donating tons of food to food banks and food pantries, that would otherwise have gone to waste because it is either sitting in the DeMoulas warehouse on East Street or being left undelivered in trucks. Among the non-profits benefitting directly from the donations are the Merrimack Valley Food Bank and the Tewksbury Community Food Pantry.
Here is the complete text of the Board of Directors statement:
“As the Board has previously noted, it is currently engaged in a rigorous and active process to consider strategic alternatives for the Company, including its possible sale. Despite reports to the contrary, Arthur T. Demoulas is but one of several potential buyers for the Company who continue to express a strong interest in purchasing the Company. While Mr. Demoulas’ offer provides a path toward solving many of the problems he has helped to create, it is but one alternative among the options the Board is reviewing. The Board will continue to evaluate all of the alternatives and ultimately make its recommendation to shareholders. However, the Board has no authority or right to force shareholders to accept an offer as that decision rests solely with the Company’s shareholders.”Complete Your Tewksbury Today Coverage of the Market Basket/DeMoulas Saga: