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'He's one of us': Workers willing to lose jobs for supporting fired supermarket CEO

Aug. 6, 2014 at 9:53 AM ET

The support that Market Basket employees have vehemently shown for their recently-fired chief executive has not only cut into the company’s profits, it’s cutting deeply into employees' bank accounts.

Hundreds of Market Basket employees have walked off the job over the past few weeks to protest the ouster of their beloved CEO, Arthur T. Demoulas. Many of these workers have been fired because of their outspokenness, but say the consequence will be worth it if it ultimately gets their boss back.

“He’s one of the people. He's one of us,” said grocery buyer Brian McGuire. “He knows all his employees names. He comes in and talks to the customers.”

Video: Thousands of workers as well as many customers have been protesting the firing of the beloved CEO of a family-owned supermarket chain in New England. NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

Arthur T. Demoulas was recently pushed out as head of the family-owned supermarket chain during a long-simmering family feud with a board controlled by his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.

Many of the company’s 25,000 employees are now encouraging a Market Basket boycott until Arthur T. is reinstated. Protestors continue to line up daily outside most of the 71 store locations, where former customers have been taping over windows with receipts from other grocery stores.

Revenues are reportedly down by as much as $10 million a day, evident by empty store aisles and store shelves absent of fresh food.

“There's no one here to buy it. We can't bring it into the store if not one’s buying it because it will just rot,” said Kevin Levesque, an assistant store manager. “Same thing with seafood. Chicken, meat, same thing.”

Tom Trainor was recently fired after working 41 years for the company but has no regrets about speaking up for Arthur T.

“He gives us great pay, above-board wages, a profit sharing plan that's second to none, g,reat health benefits,” Trainor said. “”He's wealthy in more than money. The man is wealthy in the love of his people and the devotion and loyalty that everybody has for him.”

Levesque said all employees plan to keep up their fight for as long as it takes.

“We just want Arthur T. back. We just want things back the way they were,” he said. "So we're just going to keep doing what we're doing. Our families support us 100 percent.”

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