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Gov. Patrick Says DeMoulas/Market Basket Deal Is Close, Urges An End To Strike

Aug 13, 2014 02:55PM ● By Bill Gilman

Gov. Deval Patrick

Gov. Deval Patrick has taken the unusual step of urging striking Demoulas/Market Basket employees to return to work.
The governor has spoken to representatives for Arthur S. Demoulas and Arthur T. Demoulas and said he believes that a deal is very close to being completed, though there are still issues to be worked out, according to a New England Cable New report.
Gov. Patrick added that an end to the ongoing boycott and the return of striking workers to their jobs would help to bring about a favorable conclusion.
"(The workers) have it entirely within their power to stabilize the company by going back to work," said Patrick. "I hope that (the workers) can see a way to do that while the buyer and seller work out (terms of a sale)."
On Tuesday, the company sent out letters to some 200 warehouse workers , HQ office workers and drivers, giving them a final deadline of Friday, Aug. 15 or Monday Aug. 18 (depending on the job) to report back to work or be replaced.
"Since July 17, approximately 200 associates who work at headquarters and the distribution centers have failed to report to work, despite several company communications requesting they do so," said a Demoulas spokesperson. "The company has not taken any action in response to their absence, but is left with no choice but to make this last request. The company will of course follow all applicable laws should these associates choose to abandon their positions."
Workers walked off their jobs on July 17 to protest the company's firing of CEO/President of Arthur T. Demoulas. What followed over the next four weeks has been a massive boycott of Market Basket stores by customers and encouraged by employees, as well as four massive rallies that have attracted customers, employees, friends and family, as well as politicians from throughout the region.
To this point, they have vowed to continue the strike and boycott until either Arthur T was re-hired as CEO/President or the company was sold to him.
Arthur T. Demoulas and his siblings, who own 49.5 percent of company stock, have offered to buy out cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, his siblings, sister-in-law and niece, who own a controlling interest. To this point, the company's Board of Directors has hinted that an end to the strike was needed before they would recommend a sale to Arthur T.
Gov. Patrick told NECN that he planned to speak to both sides in the dispute again, later in the day Wednesday.
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