UPDATED: Employees Tell CEOs, 'Take Your Job Fair And ...'
Striking workers picket the DeMoulas Headquarters on East Street.
Gallery: DeMoulas/Market Basket Labor Protests Monday, Aug. 4 [15 Images] Click any image to expand.
DeMoulas Supermarkets CEOs Jim Gooch and Felicia Thornton have released a statement announcing an email address for current employees wanting to apply for open positions within the company. The CEOs say they created the email application process because they feared for the safety of applicants at the Job Fair, slated to begin today and continue Tuesday and Wednesday. The statement reads as follows:
“We have heard from many associates who are interested in applying for internal positIons, but are concerned for their safety if they attend the scheduled Job Fair. In response to their concerns, we are making available an email address to which associates can apply. Any associate interested should send a copy of their resume to email@example.com. We understand this statement will likely generate incoming email not appropriate for this purpose, but feel associates interested in opportunity should be given an opportunity without fear of intimidation and harassment.”
Hundreds of DeMoulas/Market Basket employees continued to protest on Monday, even as company CEOs Felicia Thornton and Jim Gooch prepared for a three-day job fair aimed at replacing striking workers.
According to one protester, the picket lines at the two driveway entrances to the DeMoulas Warehouse and Headquarters on East Street began late last week, when the protesters received an easement from Tewksbury officials, allowing them to protest on that side of the street.
"The only employees working in that building right now are those two (Gooch and Thornton) and temps. Everyone else is out here," said the employee, who works in the Maintenance Department and requested his name not be used out of fear of retaliation.
Employees at headquarters, ranging from warehouse workers to administrative assistants, to accounts payable to drivers, walked off the job July 18 to protest the firing of CEO/President Arthur T. DeMoulas. They have been supported in their actions by thousands of workers from the 71 Market Basket stores across New England, some of whom have staged "sickouts" and others who have staged a work slowdown. Store managers have refused food deliveries from trucks, which has resulted in store shelves being virtually empty.
The labor strife has led to a massive boycott of Market Basket by employees and encouraged within the stores themselves. According to published reports, the company is losing close to $10 million a day, with the total creeping over $150 million.
Gooch and Thornton set Monday, Aug. 4 as the deadline for the striking employees to report back to work or be replaced. The store managers have also been threatened with replacement if it's not "business as usual" this week.
Already, 10 mid-level executives, viewed as the "ring-leaders" of the employee rebellion, have been fired.
The job-fair, is set to run Aug. 4-6 at the company's Andover Warehouse. Workers have announced plans to picket the job fair, which starts at 4 p.m. Monday afternoon.
None of which has seemed to phase the protestors in the least. While dozens manned the picket lines, hundreds more, waiting their turn to march, gathered across the street enjoying what can best be described as a light-hearted "company picnic" atmosphere with various types of food, music and camaraderie.
Employees had been hoping the impasse would end this week. Arthur T. DeMoulas and his siblings have submitted an offer to buyout cousin Arthur S. DeMoulas and his family members of their 50.5 percent controlling interest in the company.
The company's Board of Directors, which includes five people loyal to Arthur S. and two loyal to Arthur T., are considering the offer and, they say, other offers to buy the company.
In the meantime, on Sunday, Arthur T. offered to return to work, along with his fired management team, and bring stability to the company while his offer is considered. It's believed that if Arthur T. is allowed to return to work, the strike and protests would end.
Unless a settlement is reached, employees and their supporters plan to really Tuesday, Aug. 5 at 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Stadium Plaza in Tewksbury.
Here's more from Your Tewksbury Today on the ongoing deMoulas/Market Basket employee rebellion: