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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Family and Business in New England

Demoulas Market Basket is the oldest privately owned family business in New England. 71 Stores, 25,000 non union employees in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts generating approximately 4.6 billion in revenue. My son works at the local Market Basket here in town. It is his first job evah. He works in the Deli and does very well there.

In 1954 Founder Arthur Demoulas sold the business to his sons Telemachus and George 50-50. Son George died in 1971 and Son Telemachus took over the family business. Georges family thought they should have inherited the 50% of the business.
Georges family filed a lawsuit in the 90s starting a family feud over ownership of the business. This case was resolved by the judge giving 51% of the company to Georges family, a controlling share.

Arthur T (Telemachus' son) has been running the business as CEO. He is well liked, loved even by Market Basket employees as a competent and kind leader and executive officer. Georges family could not get all the votes they needed for a take over until 2013. 250 million dollars net income was was distributed among 9 board members and share holders from both sides of the family at that time. This summer (2014) a board meeting was held outing Arthur T as Chief Executive Officer.

Market Basket employees have begun to rally in favor of former CEO Arthur T. Remember this is a non union shop and the employees have been warned they will be fired if they fail to show up for work. Many brand name food distributors have already stopped deliveries. Store shelves will be empty very soon except for "Market Basket" branded consumables. Fish and Deli meats will not be delivered except for the lobsters. I don't know how that works. I would venture though, another family business close to the Demoulas' has the contract for local lobster deliveries at Market Basket.

My son has no intention of risking his current employment. He shows for all his shifts as do many of his coworkers. He may well lose some hours as there will be almost nothing to sell outside of the Market Basket branded products.

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