A small but vocal crowd of supporters cheered on Arthur T. Demoulas when he spoke in Tewksbury Thursday morning.
It was not as big a crowd as in past weeks, but that was because many employees had already returned to work.
The high fives and hugs employees shared were six weeks in the making.
“We’re ready to go, we’re amped up, and we’re just excited,” said one worker.
Market Basket delivery truck drivers were the first to walk off the job in mid July as part of their push to get Artie T. back in charge of the company. Those drivers were also some of the first to return to work early this morning.
“Everybody is just hugging everybody. I’ve already done three loads today. Everybody’s beeping their horns. I went to the stores and they’re hugging me, almost knocking me over when I enter the stores, it’s been great,” said one driver.
“Just driving down the highway, I had to honk my horn, like 50 times,” said Charlie Keraghan, who went without a paycheck all this time.
“That was the hardest thing. Your savings account gets depleted, and you just fight the good fight,” Keraghan said.
Other employees still went to work and kept watch over empty shelves, all the while banking on this outcome.