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Customers Join Mass. And NH AGs In Putting Market Basket On Notice

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV
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Emmy award-winning Beth Germano is a general assignment reporter fo...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Market Basket customers are answering an ad with an ad.

They’ve banded together on social media to let the company leadership know they’re behind the employees trying to get back their ousted boss Arthur T. Demoulas.

“They can hire as many as they want, but if they don’t have customers to come in and shop it doesn’t matter,” said longtime customer Christa Lamb.  She designed an advertisement that will run this weekend in the Lowell Sun telling the company, “It is your customers who bring in the money, your customers who are the bottom line.”

Related: Market Basket News

It answers a full page ad Thursday from the CEOs of Market Basket announcing job fairs next week to replace employees  who refuse to come back to work.

Customers raised money to place their ad through a “gofundme” website that was set up Thursday by Denise Walsh who has shopped at the Market Basket in Billerica for 27 years.

“I can’t believe the amount of support,” she said. Within a matter of hours they raised the needed funds and money left over will go to support terminated employees.

“This is the customers saying listen to us,” said Lamb.

In the meantime the attorneys general of Massachusetts and New Hampshire have sent a letter to Market Basket letting them know their actions are being closely watched and that any employees who are terminated have rights.

Read: Full letter from attorneys general

“As a threshold matter, we urge Market Basket to be mindful of the fact that its decisions have broad implications.  Your decisions of course directly impact thousands of employees and thousands of customers in Massachusetts and New Hampshire,” the letter reads.

The company is reminded that any Massachusetts worker who is terminated must be paid all wages that are due on the final day of employment.  In New Hampshire, wages must be paid within 72 hours of discharge.

The company countered with a statement of its own.  “We have said several times that we hope sincerely that we do not discharge any employees.  We want our associates back.  We are focused solely on getting Market Basket stores back up and running for our customers, and, importantly, for the many local vendors that rely on Market Basket to make their own businesses successful for the sake of their employees.”

It’s been almost two weeks since the work stoppages began. The revolt has left store shelves empty and customers shopping elsewhere.

The employees want ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas reinstated. Managers and assistant managers at 68 of the 71 stores have threatened to resign if it doesn’t happen.

Market Basket management says it is considering all offers to buy the company including one from Arthur T. Demoulas himself.

MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM CBS BOSTON

 

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