This past Monday's rally outside the Tewksbury Market Basket was incredible. I grew up around the corner from the Tewksbury store where the rally was held. That store has been where my family shopped for about the last two decades.
As a little kid, I was bribed with candy for good behavior when I accompanied my mom as she shopped… so for me walking the half stocked aisles of the uncharacteristically empty store struck me as something out of a very personalized apocalypse movie.
My mom has called it the “Moscow Mart” for years, claiming that they find the items she likes and stops carrying them and yet she has shopped at Market Basket loyally for most of my life.
There was a huge crowd gathered combining both management and the workers and all they want is their old CEO back. Typically when there is a strike it’s about a negotiation, but this is something entirely different. The Market Basket folks aren’t demanding money or compensation they have one demand: reinstate Arthur T. Demoulas.
I interviewed an employee and he spoke about his respect and affection for Demoulas. The turnout shows his views are widely held by Market Basket employees.
Speeches by employees at the rally focused on the leadership style Demoulas displayed, highlighting the care that he has shown time and again for the employees of Market Basket. The other highlighted aspect that was hit upon was the success of Market Basket under Demoulas attributed to a lack of greed.
Market Basket employees see the board removing Demoulas and other moves related to it as a greed driven attack on the entire franchise which they won’t stand for. Good for them.
While at the rally, I ran into Parker Harrington, a drone-operator, who shared this aerial photo of the rally with me:
Read more about the rally from The Boston Globe here:
Yellow caution tape tied to overturned Market Basket carriages cordoned off the wide swath of parking lot at Stadium Plaza where thousands of protestors gathered to call for the return of ousted grocery chain president Arthur T. Demoulas. They waved signs, tooted horns, and cheered in support of the executive, who was fired in late June.
Monday’s rally came a day after eight senior employees, several of them organizers of the protest campaign, were terminated from their jobs.
Organizer Steve Paulenka, a former facilities and operations supervisor for the chain who was fired Sunday, put the crowd at around 5,000. “This is the best I’ve felt in three weeks,” he said. “This is the first time I’m starting to feel like the light at the end of the tunnel is the sun and not a train. I’m not here alone.”