By Warren Talbot
---- — LOWELL — Congresswoman Niki Tsongas has interjected herself into the Demoulas family feud for control of the Market Basket grocery store chain.
She along with State Sen. Eileen Donoghue and former State Sen. Steven Panagiotakos sent a letter to the Demoulas Super Markets, Inc. board of directors in support of company CEO Arthur T. Demoulas.
The group penned the letter after reports the board of directors plans to consider a motion today to remove Arthur T. Demoulas in favor of his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas.
“As a Member of Congress I have hosted dozens of Congress on Your Corner events at various Market Basket locations throughout my district and I have witnessed firsthand the remarkable value that Market Basket has offered to their customers,” Tsongas, a Lowell Democrat, wrote in the letter.
“Countless people travel from afar to take advantage of tremendous savings, the impact of which can’t be understated in the daily lives of residents throughout the region. Market Basket has never stopped growing since its formative days in Lowell, opening four to five stores every year for the past five years, renovating older stores, and most recently announcing that it is expanding into Maine later this year. The bottom line is that all of this has been made possible under the leadership of Arthur T. Demoulas,” Tsongas wrote.
“Throughout its history, Market Basket has been a cherished local institution both for its affordable value and for its service to our communities,” Donoghue, D-Lowell, was quoted in the letter. “Massachusetts residents and families can enjoy these benefits due in large part to the leadership of Arthur T. Demoulas as President of Demoulas Super Markets, Inc. I hope that the Board of Directors will seriously consider Arthur’s legacy and his pivotal role in the company’s success before coming to a final decision tomorrow.”
“If you see what the company has accomplished in the last six years, it’s nothing short of remarkable,” said Panagiotakos, also a Lowell Democrat. “It’s extremely disappointing that they would want to remove the person responsible for the success they are seeing right now.”
For years, the Demoulas family has wrangled over of what has grown into a 71-store grocery chain, which has roots in Lowell but has expanded across Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Arthur T. Demoulas has been CEO since 2008. Arthur S. Demoulas and other members on his side of the family allege Arthur T. Demoulas has mismanaged the company and ignored instructions from the board.