Market Basket CEOs: workers must return by Monday

A customer walks by the empty produce isle at the Market Basket supermarket chain Thursday July 24, 2014, in Concord, N.H. Arthur T. Demoulas, the former chief executive of the Market Basket supermarket chain whose ouster has led to employee protests, customer boycotts and empty shelves wants to buy the entire company. He said in a statement Wednesday that he and his side of the family want to buy the 50.5 percent of the company now controlled by relatives who backed his firing last month. (AP Photo)
A customer walks by the empty produce isle at the Market Basket supermarket chain Thursday July 24, 2014, in Concord, N.H. Arthur T. Demoulas, the former chief executive of the Market Basket supermarket chain whose ouster has led to employee protests, customer boycotts and empty shelves wants to buy the entire company. He said in a statement Wednesday that he and his side of the family want to buy the 50.5 percent of the company now controlled by relatives who backed his firing last month. (AP Photo)

BOSTON (AP) — The chief executives of the Market Basket supermarkets say employees who have stayed off the job to demand the return of fired CEO Arthur T. Demoulas must return to work by Monday.

The statement Wednesday said the workers can return without penalty. It also says the company will begin seeking replacements for those who don’t.

Managers and assistant managers of 68 of the 71 New England stores signed petitions saying they would resign if Demoulas isn’t restored “with full authority.”

The Market Basket board, controlled by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, fired Demoulas in June. Employees loyal to Arthur T. have held protests and refused to make warehouse deliveries to stores.

The board said Tuesday it continues to evaluate offers to buy the supermarket chain, including one from Arthur T. Demoulas, among other “strategic alternatives.”

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