TEWKSBURY, Mass. (WHDH) -
Friday marks the deadline for Market Basket employees to return to work, but some are still not backing down.
Executives at the supermarket chain said those who don't return to work on Friday will lose their jobs.
Store managers have been told to remove all protest signs from stores, as well as receipts that customers have taped to doors and windows to show that they've been taking their business elsewhere.
Workers have been protesting for weeks in order to get ousted CEO Arthur T. Demoulas re-instated. Many are angered because they say they used their vacation time to walk the picket lines.
Some said the current CEO offered to let them work during off hours so they wouldn't have to cross the picket lines, but some are still fearful.
While protests continue, stores remain empty. Rob Harrington, a manager, said profits are down 90 percent and that is store has lost 560 part-time employees.
"I went into a store last night at 8:00, there was four employees in there working and I think there was one customer. I just went to look around and see how pitiful the store was looking. And there was another customer doing the same thing. Wasn't going to buy anything, just looking around the store... It's a shame. It's awful," said one person present at a rally in Tewksbury.
All employees say they want is their old boss back in control of the company and won't be backing down.
"If I didn't do what I believed in, I couldn't live with myself," said Larry Frost, a manager who's been with the company for 21 years. The protest signs in his store are still up.
Gov. Deval Patrick offered to help out during sale negotiations between the deeply divided shareholders. However, Patrick filed paperwork that revealed a possible conflict of interest in his role.
"My wife, Diane Patrick, is a partner at Ropes & Gray, which represents the independent directors at Market Basket... My understanding is that the independent directors of the corporation would be responsible for managing any eventual sale of the corporation," the statement said.