How many bosses do you know of who, after being ousted by upper management, would get a show of support from 5,000-plus employees? As the Market Basket family saga continues to unfold, it is nothing short of impressive to see thousands of non-unionized workers rally to demand the reinstatement of former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas. After a first rally on Friday, which drew about 2,000 people, the new Market Basket leadership fired eight workers. But, in a remarkable show of loyalty, thousands more returned to the company’s headquarters in Tewksbury today.
The devotion that Arthur T. Demoulas incites in the workers is even more striking in an era when performance in the workplace has been so professionalized and automated that managers come and go without so much the blink of an eye from co-workers, all in the interest of maximizing productivity. But Arthur T. Demoulas believed in a simple business strategy in an industry that generally doesn’t invest much in its people: carry no debt, keep low prices, and treat employees like family. The average tenure of a Demoulas store manager is 34 years, according to media reports. The eight employees who were fired had a combined total of 280 years of experience.