Market Basket store directors received word from Co-CEO Felicia Thornton Thursday morning that they must cut virtually all hours for all part-time employees of the company, effectively laying off these workers for the foreseeable future.

The news of layoffs comes as the Market Basket standoff continues into its third week, with sales down almost 90% across all 71 stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Thornton’s email to store directors was posted to the Save Market Basket Facebook page:

“As we are all aware our store sales volumes are substantially reduced from standard levels. As has always been our practice, your role as store director requires you to manage payroll as one of your many responsibilities. This means you need to schedule staff levels necessary to serve your current customer base and maintain store conditions.”

WHDH TV News Reporter Kimberly Bookman shared this photo on Twitter of a notice in a Market Basket store alerting part-time associates that no more hours would be available to them:

Market Basket Layoffs

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office has reported more than 100 phone calls from Market Basket employees in the last 24 hours, prompting the AG Martha Coakley to set up a dedicated hotline just for Market Basket employees.

“Market Basket is a major employer in Massachusetts, and we remain hopeful that the parties will come together to reach a positive resolution and restore the vibrancy of the business,” AG Coakley said in a statement Thursday morning. “With the rapidly evolving circumstances, we have established this hotline to answer questions directly from workers and make sure their rights are being protected.”

Market Basket employees may call the hotline at (617) 963-2400 and is staffed by the AG’s Fair Labor Division.

Market Basket employees in New Hampshire are asked to call (603) 271-3658, visit online, or email New Hampshire AG Joseph Foster at [email protected] with complaints or concerns of unfair termination or withheld pay.

The Boston Globe reports that the Belgium-based parent company of Hannaford Bros., one of Market Basket’s major competitors in the regional grocery market, has placed a bid to buy the company in part or whole in addition to ousted former CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, who placed his bid to buy the company last week.

Stay tuned here for continuing updates.

Are you a Market Basket employee who was laid off today and have a tip or story to share?

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