Market Basket Walkouts (06:10)
In the summer of 2014, the largest non-union labor walkout occurred at a grocery store chain in Massachusetts. The president of the family company, Arthur T. Demoulas (Artie T.) was fired and replaced by two outside CEOs.
Market Basket's Approach (08:21)
Market Basket started a single family-owned market in Lowell, Massachusetts and grew into a successful food retailer with more than 70 stores in New England. The business was people-focused and had no self-check-out or automation in warehouses. Artie T. made sure everyone felt their job was important.
Demoulas Family (06:22)
The Demoulas immigrated to the United States in 1908 and opened Demoulas Market in 1917. Mike and George Demoulas took over the business from their parents, but George died. A feud erupted, creating a power imbalance on the board of directors
Demoulas Power Shift (04:38)
In the 2000s, Artie T. ran the company and had a fragile majority on the board over his cousin. In 2013, two board members shifted support to Arthur S. Demoulas, allowing the creation of a new board; the board created a liquidation strategy.
Fight for Market Basket (03:33)
Word about the possible liquidation reached employees, who created a petition and social media campaign to save Market Basket. Arthur S. paid dividends to shareholders, which put a financial strain on the company and halted expansion projects.
Resistance at Market Basket (04:31)
On July 13, 2014, Artie T. and two long-term executives were fired and replaced with two outside CEOs. Employees agreed to resist overtures from the new CEOs and the plan for a walkout began.
Market Basket Rallies (02:43)
Within a few days of the walk out, eight top managers were fired. Numerous rallies were held with thousands of employees and community members in attendance.
Employee Approach (03:49)
Market Basket employees had no set plan for what would happen after the walk out. They were not unionized and had no contracts, so regular labor laws did not apply. They decided to shut down distribution and store support.
Market Boycott (09:09)
Market Basket customers began boycotting the company. The people-first environment and reasonable prices created strong customer loyalty. Customers began taping receipts from other grocery stores on Market Basket windows.
Striking Workers (09:47)
Employees gathered every day in a parking lot across the street from Market Basket headquarters. They set up food stands and catering vendors arrived. Picket lines formed along driveways and entrances.
Employee Disruption (09:26)
Employees on the picket line directed those who kept working to follow orders but disrupt the flow of the company as much as possible. The fired managers on the picket line were in constant communication with the working store managers.
Leading the Market Basket Strike (07:43)
The fired managers became leaders of the strike and had simple strategy meetings in the parking. It was difficult for strikers to get information and the leaders tried to keep misinformation from spreading.
Lengthening Strike (12:48)
The board of directors ordered the layoffs of part-time employees. The co-CEOs were negotiating a deal to sell Market Basket to competitor Delhaize Group. Striking employees began running out of money and worried the strike would end with no resolution.
Business Agreement (03:35)
The board of directors and the Market Basket lawyers met for 10 minutes. The board announced it would reinstate Artie T. The Arthur S. side of the family accepted a $1.5 billion buyout from Artie T.
Re-opening Market Basket (05:14)
Employees held a rally, honoring Artie T.'s return. The customers began coming back, despite the stores not being fully stocked in the first few days.
Back to Work (05:24)
Employees began working the morning after the agreement. Market Basket was invited to the National Press Club by Labor Secretary Tom Perez. Market Basket recovered from financial losses and continued expanding.
Credits: Food Fight: Inside the Battle for Market Basket (04:28)
Credits: Food Fight: Inside the Battle for Market Basket
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