Skip to main content

Your Tewksbury Today

Demoulas Management Blames Striking Workers For Vendor Payment Snafu

Aug 18, 2014 07:01PM ● By Bill Gilman

The seafood bins at Market Basket stores will likely be empty for some time after a major vendor canceled its contract with Demoulas.

In response to one of its major vendors cutting ties in a very public manner earlier in the day, the management of Demoulas Supermarkets laid blame squarely at the feet of striking workers.

Monday morning, Boston Swordfish & Tuna President Tim Malley released a statement, openly criticizing Demoulas management and detailing what he called major "blunders" by the company's distribution team in recent weeks. Malley said his company was canceling its multi-million dollar contract to provide seafood to the company's 71 Market Basket stores.

He said the company was severing its ties with Demoulas so long as the present management team remained in place.

Later in the day, a spokesperson for Demoulas, representing CEOs Felicia Thornton and James Gooch, released a statement in response. The statement acknowledged problems with the distribution procedures and said they were directly related to the ongoing strike, involving some 200 executives, office staff, drivers and warehouse workers.

Here is the complete text of the Demoulas management statement:

“When a distribution network set up over decades is shut down in one day it is naïve to assume any company would not suffer. The longtime employees that ran Market Basket's buying and distribution system walked out on their jobs, their customers and their vendors on July 18. That is precisely the reason Market Basket's stores have had only limited perishable items in stock since. We do understand the problems that the shutdown of the distribution system has caused Market Basket's vendors who are caught in the middle of this situation. We have been diligently working with vendors to limit the damage the walkout has caused.” 

In the meantime, negotiations between former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas and the company's Board of Directors over a possible sale continued on Monday. Involved in the talks were New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. None of the parties involved commented publicly Monday on the state of the negotiations.

Follow us on Facebook at Follow us on Twitter at @TewksburyToday Follow us on Instagram at YourTewksburyToday