News that Arthur T. Demoulas and his affiliated shareholders are attempting to buy out the rival side of the Market Basket-owning family has not made employees confident that Demoulas will be returned to head of the company anytime soon.

The offer creates a potential solution to the Market Basket crisis but the other side of the Demoulas family has not said whether it is open to selling its stock.

Employees have stuck with plans to rally at 9 a.m. today in what they're calling the biggest -- and final -- rally.

A website for employees, called We Are Market Basket, sounded a message Thursday that their fight is not over just because of the ownership offer. The other side of the family, associated with Arthur S. Demoulas, the cousin and rival of the former CEO, owns 50.5 percent of the company.

"Just because ATD has tendered an offer to buy the company does not change what we are doing," the website said, referring to Arthur T. Demoulas.

"It is great news, however, it is a shareholder issue that could take some time to work out even if the (Arthur S. Demoulas) side wants to sell to ATD," it said. "That being said, we continue to picket and boycott the markets. Our fight is directly with the (board of directors) for them to reinstate ATD as CEO without restriction."

In fact, the website made so little of the potential purchase by Arthur T. that it didn't even mention it whatsoever on Thursday.


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Employees, who began walking out on their jobs last Friday, have said they've been surprised at how many customers have chosen to shop elsewhere as a show of support for workers. The company, which has annual sales of more than $4 billion, is said to be losing millions of dollars a day in potential revenue.

Workers and shoppers have posted photos of empty parking lots and aisles on social media as a rallying cry of how slumping sales might force the chain's directors to reinstate Arthur T.

"I knew we had a strong customer base, but this is overwhelming," said Tom Trainor, an employee of 41 years who was district supervisor until he was fired Sunday.

Trainor said the news that Arthur T. and his side of the family are attempting to buy out the whole company is "great news, but it doesn't change our focus."

"It would be wonderful if he bought it, but that could be months down the road," he said. "Everyone's reaction is, great news, but that doesn't really change what we're trying to do."

Rosalie Hagopian, an administrative assistant and 41-year employee, said workers remain as steadfast as ever to get their old boss back.

"We want Artie back and we want him reinstated with no restrictions," she said. "That's what we want."

"We're stronger than ever," Hagopian added. "Tomorrow I think you're going to see double the number of people that were there Monday," she said of Friday's rally.

Members of the majority-control side of the Demoulas family have not commented on whether they might sell their shares.

Arthur S. Demoulas did not return a message seeking comment Thursday. David Gilpatric, a small shareholder, didn't return a message seeking comment, and others couldn't be reached.

Arthur T.'s side of the family had a majority stake in the company until June 2013. That was when Rafaela Evans, a member of the Arthur S. side of the family, switched allegiances. With majority stake, the Arthur S. side has control over most of the board of directors.

A directors meeting is reportedly scheduled for 9 a.m. today. It's unclear whether the board will take up employees' demand that Arthur T. be reinstated, but the chain's new co-CEOs have said they've forwarded the demand to the board for consideration.

Follow Grant Welker on Twitter and Tout @SunGrantWelker.