Grocery Chain Workers Protest To Save The CEO's Job [UPDATE]

protest save CEOIt's become common to see workers complain about their bosses on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks. But many of the 21,000 employees of the New England grocery chain Market Basket are protesting and have gone online to save their CEO's job, as the Manchester (N.H.) Union Leader reports.

At stake for them is someone many of them like and respect -- as well as fears of potential wage cuts, layoffs, and the end of benefits like profit sharing -- in what could be the culmination of a decades-long family feud. The company's board will reportedly consider firing CEO Arthur T. Demoulas in a meeting on Thursday, July 18, in what is seen as part of a family dispute, with two branches fighting over control and accusing each other of "drug abuse, extramarital affairs, underhanded legal tactics, and extreme greed" since 1971, according to The Boston Globe.

However, what has largely been an internal family matter has openly spilled over into the business and persuaded employees and customers to get involved.

Update July 19, 2013 5:45 AM: The efforts apparently worked. After a meeting that ran nearly 13 hours, the board did not vote to remove Arthur T. Demoulas as CEO. In a statement Demoulas said, "I am pleased with today's result. I hope to work constructively with the Board going forward...Thanks to everybody for their tremendous outpouring of support."

"The board of directors is trying to oust our CEO and he has taken extremely good care of us over the years," Bill Currier, a grocery clerk at the Portsmouth, N.H., Market Basket, said in an interview with AOL Jobs. "There's a profit-sharing plan, which is great. We get a guaranteed bonus every December and March. Genuinely, the guy is very nice. I've seen him talk to managers and he'll say, 'How's your wife?' and will know the wife's name."



"It felt like someone just ripped my heart out and ran it over," said Cindy Whelan, manager of the Epping, N.H., Market Basket to television station WMUR. Employees said at a rally, seen above, that the current CEO "always had their best interests in mind," according to the report.

More: Boss Went Into Debt To Make Workers Rich

To back current CEO Arthur T. Demoulas over cousin and challenger Arthur S. Demoulas, employees have taken to social networks to rally support from other employees and from customers. Using the hashtags #saveMB and #SaveArthurT, employees on Twitter are imploring people to go to rallies at stores, some of which have seen hundreds of people show up. They were also told to sign paper petitions at stores (50,000 signatures in two days, according to Currier) or to go to the online one, which has gained nearly 43,000 signatures since July 11. Here's a Lowell Sun video of people signing the petitions:


And here's an employee's Vine video, showing attempts to get drivers to honk their horns in support:


People are posting largely supportive messages on the People of Market Basket Facebook page, including such things as "Occupy MB!" and "Save our company, save our stores!!"

A Facebook page called "About DeMoulas/Market Basket" claims that the company has no official Facebook page, Twitter account, or website.

Reportedly, industry insiders often praise Market Basket, which focused on high sales volume at low prices -- rated best in the country by Consumer Reports -- which help keep consumers happy. Industry analysts argue about whether a new CEO would shake up overly conservative management or if the action would unnecessarily alter something that already works.

Clearly, no matter what the board's decision, there will be plenty of traffic on social networks either denouncing or praising the result.

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EmilyLave07

If you think Ralph`s story is great..., a month back my sister's best friend basically also earned $7616 just sitting there a twenty hour week from their apartment and they're co-worker's step-sister`s neighbour has done this for 8-months and easily made more than $7616 part-time from their labtop. apply the advice available on this page, goo.gl/oR8j0

July 20 2013 at 3:02 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
EmilyLave07

Jason. I just agree... Ralph`s bl0g is great... on thursday I got a new Ford Mustang after earning $7952 this - five weeks past and even more than $10,000 last-munth. this is certainly the nicest job I've had. I started this nine months/ago and almost straight away began to make over $69 per hour. I follow this website,, goo.gl/YcMRl

July 20 2013 at 2:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
snonut800

Arthur T treats the employees well, the company is debt free and is highly profitable and prices are affordable for customers. The cousin wants to come in, take on millions of dollars in debt and give it in bonuses to himself and his friends on the board. He'll have to pay for these underhanded dealings, more than likely by raising prices and cutting benefits, so everyone loses except him and his friends. I've got friends that have worked there for decades and I'll support them and the man they want, Arthur T. The board did not vote tonight so he retains his position at least until the next board meeting in August. The replacement group is probably hoping the publicity will die down and they can sneak in their scheme then.

July 18 2013 at 11:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
wilkesgm

CEO's are evil, just ask the President. That's why he seized GM and fired the CEO - who was making 20 million a year. That is exactly 20 million less than Dr. Phil, 60 million less than Beyonce and about 150 million less than Oprah. So, folks, as we become ever more controlled by our current ideology, just remember that when the best and brightest are removed from positions of authority and trust, you get slugs. A "little bit" of authoritarian control always leads to more and more control.

July 18 2013 at 10:57 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
dlordmagic

Keep up the fight. Looks like you got a good thing going. Don't break by trying to fix it.

July 18 2013 at 10:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
English

And this story gives the lie to the common belief that American Workers want a free ride, and resent 'the boss' because he makes a lot of money. If you treat people fairly, even if the pay is low, they'll work for you. Screw them around and they'll hate you for it .. it's obvious this CEO gets it. And notice that NONE of the rank-and-file workers are griping about his pay scale.

July 18 2013 at 10:54 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
drlolipop2

Looks like one of the few decent executives left in America is on his way out, to be replaced by the sort of greedy white collar criminal the bagger fanboys cream their pants over.

July 18 2013 at 6:00 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to drlolipop2's comment
Freddie

Or some liberal douch who doesn't know how to run a business, other than into the ground.

July 18 2013 at 6:42 PM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Freddie's comment
Ralph

The douche is the CEO who doesn't care about the workers. The douche is the guy who makes 200-300 times the average salary of his workers and tries to justify it. The douche is the hedge/capital fund that shutters a business to get out of a negotiated contract of fair wages and reopens the business paying minimum wage. The douche is you, Freddie, for making a comment like the one you posted. Judging by your avatar, you probably aren't even of working age.

July 18 2013 at 8:22 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down
umpsasuout

freddie,the douch is you,nobody else but you!!!

July 19 2013 at 1:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
Stephen

Some times one or more members of a family get greedy and want to have it all. And this appears to be what is happening here. You have one side of the family unkown member(s) who want all the money there is and are tired of sharing it with non-family members (Employees etc.) there are probley close friends with the former republican Nomanee who's name has been lost in history other then to say he was the man who was there when the Republican Party dug their own graves.

July 18 2013 at 5:24 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
wbearl

Back in 1985 the company I worked for was bought. The new VP of Mechanical didn't like our Shop Superintendent. There was a massive clash of personalities. He unceremoniously fired the Superintendent. The guy showed up for work, found his name plate in the trash and the VP sitting in his office at his desk. The VP told him he didn't have his job anymore and to just go sit in the waiting room. Every Union Boss in the shop came in and apologized to the Super and offered to take their people out on strike to help him. He thanked them but rejected their offer.

July 18 2013 at 3:51 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Dick

Well obviously the board needs to get rid of this guy if his employee's like him that is grounds enough in todays greedy corporate attitude!!!! He and the guy from Men's Warehouse can get together and maybe figure out why corporate America is broken....that's BROKEN....not broke..lol. Maybe the real problem here is the board and they should have their asses kicked out!!!

July 18 2013 at 3:46 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Dick's comment
yellowright

Maybe the Board is p/o'd because they invested all their millions with Bernie Madoff and the CEO didn't!

July 18 2013 at 7:56 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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