Supermarket Chain Workers Get Their Beloved CEO Back

Arthur T. Demoulas has regained control of the company in a deal worth $1.5 billion. The move ends a battle between rival factions of the family that left store shelves bare and stakeholders angry.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News. NPR's Business News starts with a supermarket solution. A weeks-long standoff at a New England grocery chain is over. Workers walked off the job at Market Basket after their CEO was fired. Losing millions of dollars forced the company to bring the CEO back.

From member station WBUR in Boston, Curt Nickisch reports the deal was reached late last night.

CURT NICKISCH, BYLINE: The worker walk-out lasted 40 days and 40 nights until finally - resolution. Under the deal, Arthur T. Demoulas - or ATD, as the company's 25,000 workers call him - will buy the controlling share of the company and immediately take charge.

JAMIE CUNNEEN: Mr. Demoulas, ATD, is the heart and soul of Market Basket. Everything that this place is built upon, it's him.

NICKISCH: That's Jamie Cunneen, a manager at one of the company's 71 supermarkets. Members of the Demoulas family have feuded over control of the company for decades. ATD's boardroom rival and cousin fired him. Workers were afraid that side of the family cared more about profit than people.

Now with their victory, meat manager Bob Dietz says workers will quickly get food back on the shelves.

ALEXANDER DIETZ: We can gear this place back up and do what we've always done. And nothing's going to change; we're just going to move forward.

NICKISCH: Maybe - it's not clear yet how much the standoff has damaged the company in lost sales and customers. But it is clear that workers have done something remarkable - they walked off their jobs so that their CEO could walk back into his.

For NPR News, I'm Curt Nickisch in Boston.

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