Market Basket protest leaders announced Saturday morning that a rally scheduled for Monday at Tewksbury’s Stadium Plaza has been moved to Tuesday at 11 a.m.
“We needed to get permitting for extra parking,” said Tom Trainor, a fired Market Basket employee who has been organizing protests of the company’s current management.
The rally would be the fourth major protest calling for the reinstatement of the supermarket chain’s former president, Arthur T. Demoulas. The third rally, held July 25 in the same parking lot outside a Market Basket store, drew a crowd estimated by police at between 6,000 and 7,000. Since then, smaller groups have held daily protests at the company’s headquarters.
Although organizers are expecting a larger crowd Tuesday, Trainor said they plan to obtain permission to use the same parking lots, which are just across the town line with Lowell, as they did at July 25 rally. Trainor said those lots had excess capacity at the last rally.
Steve Paulenka, another fired employee who has led protests, said organizers also wanted to give neighbors advance notice of the rally so they could plan accordingly. He added that the rescheduling was not coordinated with ongoing negotiations over an offer by Arthur T. to buy the entire company from his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas, who controls the company’s board of directors.
“I wanted to give the Tewksbury police time to get their extra detail,” Paulenka said. “It’s not coordinated with the board or anything like that. It’s just simple logistics.”
On Thursday, Market Basket’s senior managers announced that job fairs would be held at the company’s IT offices in Andover early this week to replace employees who stopped work. Paulenka said the schedule change did not affect plans to continue protests at the job fair after the Tewksbury rally. However, he said he expected a smaller crowd to make the trip to Andover and had not made parking arrangements for those who attend.
Weather forecasts on Saturday suggested that the weekend’s wet weather may carry over to Monday. Tuesday calls for higher temperatures, with a high of around 81 degrees and roughly a 15 percent chance of rain in Boston at the time of the rally, according to the National Weather Service.