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[August 18, 2014]
Market Basket board meets in wake of negotiations with governors [Boston Herald :: ]
(Boston Herald (MA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Aug. 18--The Market Basket board of directors wrapped up a meeting today without divulging any developments as discussions drag on in the supermarket saga that has drawn in the governors of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
A day after Gov. Deval Patrick and New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan met with Market Basket officials during an evening session, board members convened today in Boston, where they ended a meeting shortly before 1 p.m., board member, J. Terence Carleton said. He declined further comment.
Hassan's office said in a statement today that she, Patrick and the supermarket chain's "principal parties" met at length Sunday night, but apparently without any resolution.
"This is a private business dispute, but the Governor is hopeful that the leaders at Market Basket will come together and reach a constructive resolution that keeps their workers employed and reduces the impact on consumers and other affected businesses," Hassan spokesman William Hinkle said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for Patrick said in a statement issued last night that the sides had made "real progress." Patrick had plans to spend this week at his Berkshires vacation home, and aides to both governors did not immediately say when, or if, they planned to return to the negotiating table.
News that the state CEOs had stepped firmly into the long-running talks was applauded by local elected officials.
"Ordinarily, I would think if private companies have a dispute that's one thing," said Lowell state Sen. Eileen Donoghue, who said the top topic when she attends senior ice cream socials and other events around the district is the Market Basket dispute. "But there's 2 million customers, and in my district, the vast majority go to Market Basket. If anything, this has underscored that the alternatives are just not the same, and it's a real problem." State Sen. Barry Finegold, an Andover Democrat who is also running for state treasurer, said he remains "hopeful" the governors' involvement can spur a resolution.
"I'm just very hopeful for the workers. I know they all want to get back to work," Finegold said of the chain's employees, which number 25,000 across multiple states.
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