8 Market Basket workers fired for their support of ex-CEO; shelves empty in some stores

Employees of the Market Basket supermarket chain and their supporters are rallying at company headquarters again Monday in support of the former chief executive, while the private company's board of directors is scheduled to hold a conference call to discuss employee demands.

The rally Monday comes on the heels of a similar rally held at the company's headquarters in Tewksbury on Friday and the firing over the weekend of eight longtime employees who helped organize the show of support for fired CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.

Demoulas was fired last month by a board controlled by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas. Both are grandsons of the chain's founder and their feud dates back decades. The chain now has 71 stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

The company said in a statement that eight employees were fired because "their actions continued to harm the company, negatively impacted customers, and inhibited associates' ability to perform their jobs."

A courier delivered letters to the fired employees Sunday.

"I knew I was putting my neck out there," Tom Trainor, a distribution supervisor with 41 years at the company, told The Boston Globe. "They don't even bother to tell you to your face."

Meanwhile, some Market Basket stores started running out of food as deliveries had stopped Friday. Customers who went shopping Sunday were greeted by empty shelves in some sections of the stores.

Some Massachusetts lawmakers have called for a boycott of the company, led by state Sen. Barry Finegold, who represents the district in which Tewksbury headquarters are located. He said that as of Monday, 37 state lawmakers and mayors had agreed to encourage constituents to stop shopping at Market Basket until Arthur T. Demoulas is reinstated.