TEWKSBURY (CBS/AP) – Several hundred Market Basket workers ignored a crucial deadline Friday.
If they don’t get back to work, they’ll lose their jobs.
The employees have been protesting for the last four weeks, fighting to get fired CEO Arthur T. Demoulas returned to his position as head of the supermarket chain.
Outside Market Basket headquarters in Tewskbury, employees in distribution and administration said they’re not going anywhere, despite receiving a FedEx package warning them to go back to work or they will be terminated.
The company CEOs also sent an email to store directors, telling them to remove all boycott signs from the supermarkets.
Andy Heggarty, a store director in Lowell, said he has no plans to take down any of the protest signs and he’s not worried about any potential repercussions.
“No because we’re talking stand, we’re sticking with it,” he told WBZ-TV.
A Department of Labor Spokesperson told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 if workers are fired they may be eligible for unemployment assistance. She said “we look at a lot of factors” and take all claims on a case-by-case basis.
Governor Deval Patrick intervened earlier this week, asking the employees to get back to work, as the new co-CEO’s set the Friday deadline to end the revolt.
Despite the ultimatum, most employees continue to insist they will not return to work until Arthur T. Demoulas returns.
Demoulas was fired in June by a board controlled by his rival cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.
The power struggle has led to protests by thousands of employees and a boycott by customers, leading to a steep drop in sales at the chain with 71 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports