TEWKSBURY — Employees of Demoulas Supermarkets Inc.’s Market Basket grocery stores have been an outspoken bunch in the past year, always loyal to their leader, the recently ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. They’ve spoken out online, in rallies and to the media.
And on Wednesday, they voiced that loyalty to “Artie T.,” as he is affectionately known, to the two executives hired last month to replace him, co-CEOs Jim Gooch and Felicia Thornton, according to employees who were at a meeting at the chain’s East Street offices.
“It’s unanimous,” said Rosalie Hagopian, who started with Market Basket in 1973 and has worked in the main office for 15 years, now as an administrative assistant.
“We feel the company needs Arthur T. back. We feel he was wrongly let go, along with the others who were wrongly let go,” she said. “It feels like a death in the family.”
Credit to Demoulas Supermarkets Inc. for being last standing company on earth by a long shot whose employees still think that they have a collective say in operational matters. Like when you take Artie T, and the legacy of the store out of the equation, and look at it as just a normal company, this behavior is off the chain, insane. I can understand the spirit of it, as a few months back my company switched over to pod coffee makers and I remember how upset and vulnerable I felt. But I wasn’t camping out in front of the office, telling our CEO to “go the hell.” I adapted, and kept cashing my checks. (I just started going to Starbucks on company time.)
Like every company, there’s a board. And every board has a charter. And those board members are going to make decisions through an established process that will for the most part, be aimed at making a couple extra bucks next quarter. I’m going to guess that nowhere in that charter does it stipulate “All major decisions must be vetted through the guy that slices Tobes’ roast beef too thick.” How that guy didn’t get sacked along with Artie T is beyond me. That’s what people should be protesting.