3 Market Basket board members urge end to standoff

Protests and boycotts have led to a steep drop in sales at the chain with 71 New England stores.

Market Basket employees Rees Gemmell, far right, and colleagues acknowledge passing supporters as they picket in front of the supermarket Thursday, July 24, 2014, in Haverhill, Mass. A decades-long family feud, which brought about the ouster of Arthur T. Demoulas as CEO of the privately held company, led to a worker revolt, customer boycotts and empty shelves in the grocery chain's stores in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. More than 100 Massachusetts legislators and mayors, Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan have publicly supported the employees. (AP Photo)

BOSTON (AP) — Three independent Market Basket board members are again calling on the supermarket chain’s protesting employees to return to work, and customers to return.

The directors also say they are available to negotiate an end to a battle over control of the company.

Last week, they said they had proposed fired CEO Arthur T. Demoulas and his management team return to help operations get back to normal without taking control of the company as talks continue on his bid to buy out family members.

Demoulas rejected that as “disengenuous” and said his purchase offer has been met with counterproposals “laden with onerous terms.”

The power struggle that began after the board fired Demoulas in June has led to protests by thousands of employees and a boycott by customers. It has led to a steep drop in sales at the chain with 71 New England stores.

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