Gov. Deval Patrick
Gov. Deval Patrick

The Market Basket stalemate has progressively gone from bad to worse. Three weeks into this mass protest and boycott by employees and customers over the firing of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, the supermarket chain's aisles are nearly bare and sales virtually nonexistent.

Now the latest shoe to fall will probably occur on Sunday, when the next work schedule goes into effect. At that time most if not all part-time employees will see their hours drastically reduced or eliminated due to lack of business.

These part-timers, mostly teenagers, single moms, elderly and the learning disabled, make up the majority of the company's 26,000-strong workforce.

As everyone knows, the economic fallout from this crisis goes far beyond Market Basket and its suppliers.

As a recent story in The Sun showed, retailers in the immediate vicinity of Market Basket stores also have experienced a sharp drop in revenue, as those shoppers they also rely on use other supermarkets for their groceries.

We don't know how long the Arthur S. Demoulas side of the family intends on playing this potentially devastating game of chicken with his detested cousin, Arthur T., but we feel it's time for an independent broker to help resolve this crisis while there's still something to salvage.

Gov. Deval Patrick, it's time for you and the influence of your office to get actively involved in breaking this deadlock. Yes, we know you've said repeatedly that it's not your place to interfere in a dispute between parties of a private company.


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But we can't imagine that you'd be sitting idly by if a dispute between Abigail and her father Ned Johnson threatened the stability of Fidelity Investments, that multibillion, privately held, Boston-based financial company.

In case you're unaware, Market Basket is also a multibillion, privately held company.

Either you or your representative -- perhaps Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Gregory Bialecki -- must ask for a seat at the negotiating table.

Arthur T. Demoulas has offered to buy the company, and according to published reports, at least one other bidder, reportedly Hannaford Supermarkets, has made a viable offer.

Gov. Patrick, you are the CEO of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Market Basket is a Massachusetts-based company with headquarters in Tewksbury.

Forty-two of Market Basket's 71 stores operate in Massachusetts.

It's time to step up and show the leadership required to prevent this crisis from spiralling into a full-blown disaster.