BURLINGTON (CBS) - The Market Basket battle is now entering its third week, and the next few days could be crucial.
Many employees have been showing up for work, but those who aren't working are now facing a Monday deadline to return or potentially be replaced.
The ultimatum is not popular on the picket line.
"I don't think it's going to work very much. It's probably just a scare tactic in my eyes," said one employee.
In a new statement, Arthur T. Demoulas says time is of the essence and he's working round the clock on his offer to buy back the company.
In a statement, an Arthur T. Demoulas spokesman said, "Arthur T. Demoulas and his side of the family have been working around the clock to pursue their offer to buy the 50.5% of shares in DSM they do not own for a full and fair price. As part of his proposal, Arthur T. has also offered to move immediately to return to work in advance of the completion of the stock purchase and work to bring back his full team to stabilize and begin to restore the business.
"These steps are critical at this point and are in the best interests of associates, customers, vendors and shareholders. Time is of the essence. Arthur T. is hopeful but resolution depends on the response of the other shareholders in order for an agreement to be reached."
In response, the Market Basket Board of Directors said, "Demoulas Market Basket is considering strategic alternatives directly with parties in private conversations. We encourage the B shareholders, including Arthur T. Demoulas, to continue providing constructive proposals. Following the Board's evaluation of all of offers, it will convey its recommendations to the Company's shareholders who have the final decision as to which strategic alternative, if any, to accept."
"The Board fully supports the current management team in their efforts to ensure that Market Basket's normal business operations resume immediately for the benefit of its customers, associates, vendors and communities."
While the workers rally outside, the shelves remain largely bare inside the stores. In the Burlington store, the produce cooler out back is empty.
On Monday, Market Basket will hold a job fair to possibly hire replacements. The local store manager whose father has already been fired says good luck with that.
"If they want to hire some people from the outside they can try. I don't know how they're going to walk in here and expect to know our business," said Burlington store manager John Garon.
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