Governors Say Demoulas Deal Imminent; Fired Employees 'Cautiously Optimistic'
The governors stated they believe the agreement could be in writing as soon as Sunday or Monday. If that takes place, Arthur T. would return to the company immediately to take over as interim CEO until the sale officially closes.
The statement reads as follows:
"In briefings today, all parties report that they are optimistic that an agreement will be reached to sell the company to Arthur T. Demoulas and to restore him to operating authority on an interim basis until the sale closes. Subject to reducing their agreement in principle to writing by Sunday, the Board will forestall taking adverse employment action against the employees who have abandoned their jobs. We are hopeful that employees will return to work, and the stores will reopen, early next week."On the heels of the statement by the two governors, Arthur T. Demoulas released a statement through his spokesperson, Justine Griffin, which indicated he was ready to seal the deal Friday night.
Griffin's statement reads as follows:
"Having submitted his final bid on Thursday and heard the statement of the Governors this evening, Arthur T. Demoulas expects that this purchase can and should be finalized immediately," Griffin said. "The bid remains at full price and its terms are extremely favorable to the sellers. There is nothing that stands in the way of getting this done this weekend. It's time to complete this deal so we can all get back to doing what we love doing, and that is running Market Basket."Demoulas/Market Basket employees say they are hopeful but aren't ready to celebrate. One of eight executives fired for leading the employee rebellion was quoted by Ch. 5's Liam Martin as saying, ""Until we hear directly from the boss, Artie T., we're not celebrating."
Some 200 Demoulas warehouse workers, office staff, drivers and executives have been on strike since July 18. They are protesting the firing of Arthur T. Demoulas as CEO/President in June.
Market Basket workers from across New England have thrown their support behind the strike, turning out by the thousands at several rallies in Tewksbury. The rallies have sparked a boycott of Market Basket stores that has cost the company an estimated $7-10 million a day in revenue.
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