Market Basket Protesters Plan ‘Grand Finale’ Event

Organizers hope that a meeting scheduled with board members will lead to the reinstatement of the former CEO.

Photo by Steve Annear

Photo by Steve Annear

The protests stemming from the firing of former Market Basket CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, and later eight long-time employees, has lasted weeks, leaving store shelves all across the state with next to nothing on them as customers flock to rival supermarket chains to get their food.

But on Friday, things could finally come to an end—at least in terms of the very-public outrage that has made the front pages of newspapers from Massachusetts to New Hampshire.

According to the Facebook page that has been fanning the flames for followers of Market Basket’s former head-honcho, a “Grand Finale” is planned for this Friday at the company’s headquarters in Tewksbury, the same spot that has served as the stomping grounds for the consecutive pow-wows this month as more and more employees have left their jobs to stand in support of Demoulas.

On July 25, beginning at 9 a.m., protesters will stage what they hope will be their “biggest and final rally” to date.

“We will meet at the same place…to put the finishing touch on our weeks of protest and celebrate who and what we are,” according to the details on the “Save Market Basket” Facebook page, which boasts more than 59,000 followers who have watched with bated breath as the thread that held the company together has quickly come undone. “We are in the midst of what will most likely be the biggest and most important cause any of us will ever be a part of. The eyes of the nation are on us as we march forward with unwavering resolve to get [Arthur T. Demoulas] back in charge and put Market Basket back on track.”

The big “ta-da” is happening the same day that board members for the food chain are scheduled to meet in Boston at the Prudential Center. Details on what the meeting will be about were not immediately clear, but the group behind organizing the rallies hopes that it will involve their end goal: reinstating Demoulas once and for all.

“They can put an end to all of this with a simple vote to do what is right: return Arthur T. Demoulas to his role of president and CEO,” according to the Facebook post, which called out board members by name, claiming their reputation is on the line. “They have a fiduciary obligation to do what is best for this company. They must to do what is best for New England. Then must to do what is best for the customers.”

The story behind Market Basket’s big fallout is a long and confusing one, rife with family members who have similar names clashing swords over the rights to the company’s future, and backstabbing scenarios that can be traced to a time when family-owned food establishments were the norm.

No need to rehash the decades-long feud here, since it has been covered here, here, and here, and has even been made into crafty charts that break down the family’s breakdown both here and here.

Needless to say, the battle over Demoulas’ removal last month has left customers with little choice but to turn to competitors, as shelves remain void of food and Market Basket employees have urged them to shop elsewhere.

But maybe—just maybe—a solution is within reach.