The warehouse workers who halted food deliveries to Market Basket stores are already receiving checks from a GoFundMe campaign designed to tide them over.
Hundreds of warehouse workers have refused to deliver goods to Market Basket since Arthur T. Demoulas was ousted several weeks ago. Those employees are not eligible for unemployment benefits because they voluntarily left work.
Organizers of the “Save Market Basket’’ movement now hope to help those workers until they once again receive a paycheck. They announced Tuesday that they have already begun to distribute checks worth $200 to each of the warehouse workers.
“This amount certainly is not enough to cover anyone’s paycheck but it is a show of good faith and good will for our fellow associates,’’ organizers wrote on the “Save Market Basket’’ Facebook page.
According to the post, they have shelled out over $50,000 to warehouse workers thus far.
The funds came from a gofundme campaign launched last week, which has raised almost $60,000 online and another $40,000 from mailed checks, according to the “Save Market Basket’’ page. Organizers eventually hope to give about 750 workers at headquarters and warehouses a check for $200.
Many of those workers were at the Market Basket rally Tuesday.
Organizers told The Boston Globe that they expected over 15,000 to participate on Tuesday–a figure that would make the rally the biggest yet. Protesters had already staged three other massive rallies protesting the decision to oust Arthur T. Demoulas as president of Market Basket.
The gathering Tuesday had a tenor similar to previous rallies, as music blasted from the loudspeakers and participants chanted rally cries.
Protesters were already gathering on the sizzling concrete of the Stadium Place shopping center in Tewksbury early Tuesday morning. Temperatures had reached a sweaty mid-eighties by midday.
The workers and customers who attended the rally have hoped that Market Basket would accept an offer from the deposed Arthur T. Demoulas to buy the company, but the Board of Directors, now controlled by Arthur S. Demoulas, has so far seemed reluctant.
After workers left their posts, the company also announced Monday that it would seek replacements.
They held a job fair Monday to find candidates that could replace the associates–to no avail. Very few showed up at the fair, though the new CEOs announced a emailed application system to prevent employees from being intimidated.
On Tuesday afternoon, activists on the Save Market Basket page said that no one was at the job fair Tuesday either.