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Market Basket Workers Picket Despite Return To Work Deadline

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BOSTON (CBS/AP) — It is deadline day for workers in the revolt at Market Basket.

The chief executives of the supermarket chain say employees who have stayed off the job to demand the return of fired CEO Arthur T. Demoulas must return to work by Monday or they could be replaced.

But, many were picketing outside the company’s headquarters in Tewksbury all morning and afternoon as some temporary workers did their jobs inside.

A protestor outside the company’s headquarters in Tewksbury Monday. (WBZ-TV)

A protestor outside the company’s headquarters in Tewksbury Monday. (WBZ-TV)

Linda Holmes has worked for Market Basket for more than 30 years and is worried about her job at corporate headquarters.

“Somebody right now is sitting at my desk, a part-time temp, which makes me nervous, because obviously she could become the full-time worker there and take my job,” Holmes told WBZ-TV.

Longtime driver Rudy Tempe told WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Kim Tunnicliffe he will not return to work unless Arthur T. DeMoulas is reinstated.

“If he doesn’t come back I guess I’m going to be standing here until they come over and tell me that’s it, I don’t have a job no more and they got somebody in my truck,” he said.

Asked if he was willing to lose his job, he responded, “They made the choice, not me.”

JOB FAIR STARTS MONDAY

A three-day job fair began Monday afternoon to start finding new workers.

Read: Workers Can Apply Via Email To Avoid Harassment

In full-page ads taken out in local newspapers last week, the company said it will attempt to recruit store directors, assistant directors, grocery buyers, perishable buyers and accountants.

ARTHUR T. OFFER

Demoulas, who has made an offer to buy the company, said through a spokesperson Sunday night he’s working around the clock to make it happen.

The Market Basket board says it is evaluating all offers on the table.

Another major rally is expected Tuesday as smaller protests outside Market Basket stores continue.

EMPLOYEE LAWSUIT

Some of the upper-level management fired by Market Basket are now planning to file a lawsuit against the company.

One of those eight fired managers, Tom Gordon, said they are “fighting for the wages and the pay that we are required to be paid, our vacation time, and any sick time anybody has accrued that they’re entitled to, and none of that has been paid yet.”

Managers and assistant managers of 68 of the 71 New England stores signed petitions saying they would resign if Demoulas isn’t restored “with full authority.”

The Market Basket board, controlled by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, fired Demoulas in June.

Employees loyal to Arthur T. have held protests since July 18 and refused to make warehouse deliveries to stores.

JACK DEMOULAS STATEMENT

A third Demoulas cousin issued a statement Monday.

Jack Demoulas is Market Basket’s director of dairy and frozen foods.

In a letter to the striking workers Monday, he said he thinks it was wrong to oust Arthur T. and wrong for the employees to effectively shut down the stores, saying, “Two wrongs still do not make a right.”

Jack Demoulas said less drastic forms of pressure could have been applied to help work toward a resolution, but he respected the workers’ opinion and applauded their “efficiency.”

He asked everyone to “Let Arthur T. and Arthur S. work this out.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

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%name Market Basket Workers Picket Despite Return To Work Deadline
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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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