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Patrick does not plan to intervene in Market Basket dispute

Governor Deval Patrick reiterated Wednesday that he does not plan to intervene in the ongoing battle over the leadership of Market Basket, the New England grocery chain upended by workers demanding the return of their ousted chief executive.

“The issue at Market Basket is not trivial, but it is about who the CEO of the company should be, and who the employees of the company wish the CEO should be, and that’s a private matter, and a private battle,” the governor told reporters after signing a bill designed to combat opioid addiction.

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Other political figures, including Massachusetts state lawmakers and Governor Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, have expressed support for Market Basket employees who are rallying for the return of Arthur T. Demoulas, the former chief executive who was ousted by a board led by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.

But Patrick has consistently said he does not see a role for himself in the battle.

“I, obviously, I think like everybody, want economic peace, and I want the workers to be treated justly, but the centerpiece of the dispute is who they want their boss to be,” he said last month, according to the Salem News. “And that’s not something governors normally get involved in.”

Patrick said Wednesday that he hopes the Market Basket board resolves the dispute.

“Governors don’t have power to go and say, ‘I want this CEO, rather than that one, to run a private company,’ ” he said.

Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.
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