TEWKSBURY, Mass. — Thousands of employees, customers and politicians have rallied here in support of fired Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. The crowd, estimated as high as 12,000, jammed a Market Basket parking lot off Interstate 495.
They were there to condemn the company's board of directors for refusing to consider rehiring Demoulas and his management team. Tom Gordon, of Methuen, Massachusetts, one of the fired employees, said that keeping the pressure on through rallies and customer boycotts should eventually change the board's tack.
"I don't know how much longer the board or Arthur S. Demoulas' side of the family can hold out," Gordon says. "Because it is crumbling around them."
One employee at the Manchester, New Hampshire, store said that business is down by 90 percent and that most shelves are empty. Nancy Kinler, an Old Orchard Beach, Maine, native, spoke passionately about the cause and the attention it is getting.
"As we know people around the world are hearing about this," Kinler says. "I am so proud of all of you."
She joined a chorus of protestors demanding the return of Arthur T. Demoulas to his former position. Other employees vow to continue rallying until the issue is resolved. This latest rally attracted twice as many people as the first one. Supporters from New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts crowded onto area roadways, even creating a miles-long traffic jam on I-495.
Roger Wood is an MPBN News correspondent.