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Market Basket Employees Protest Labor Changes

Market Basket employees protested outside of the Somerville store near Union Square on July 22. Inside, store shelves emptied this week as employees refused to deliver and stock products. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
Market Basket employees protested outside of the Somerville store near Union Square on July 22. Inside, store shelves emptied this week as employees refused to deliver and stock products. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

At a New England grocery store, employees are protesting labor changes — but it’s not what you’re expecting. Market Basket’s 25,000 employees don’t have a problem with their own working conditions. Rather, they want ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas put back in his position.

In 1994, Demoulas’s father fought his late brother’s heirs for control of the family business. Demoulas’s uncle’s heirs won a very slight majority stake of 50.5 percent. However, when company control passed to the next generation, Demoulas’s cousin — confusingly named Arthur S. Demoulas — was not named CEO. The board chose Arthur T.

Last July, one board member switched her allegiance, giving Arthur S. majority influence. At his urging, late last month the board voted to fire Arthur T. and replace him with co-CEOs Felicia Thornton and James Gooch.

Now, Market Basket employees have vowed not to stock store shelves until the board restores Arthur T. — whom they call the “good Arthur” — as CEO.

Boston Globe columnist Steve Syre joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to explain the family feud and why the Market Basket workers are so loyal to Arthur T.

Guest

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