With many stores staying open during Thanksgiving this year thereby forcing workers to miss out on spending the holiday with their families, one store manager decided to take a stand on behalf of his employees — and was promptly terminated.
Tony Rohr had held various position at the Pizza Hut in Elkhart, Indiana, since starting out as a cook there some ten years ago.
He was eventually promoted to general manager of the franchise, but his decision to refuse an order to open the store on Thanksgiving ultimately cost him the job.
"I said why can't we be the company that stands up and says we care about our employees and they can have the day off," he told local CBS affiliate WSBT.
According to Rohr, the store, owned by the franchise behemoth Franchise Management Investors US, has typically been closed on Thanksgiving to give employees time off to spend with loves ones.
When he was told to either open the store or sign a letter of resignation, Rohr opted for a third option: Sending his bosses a letter of protest.
"I am not quitting. I do not resign however I accept that the refusal to comply with this greedy, immoral request means the end of my tenure with this company," Rohr wrote in his letter. "I hope you realize that it's the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible."
WSBT says the franchisee's director of operations insists Rohr quit, but also acknowledged that the decision to keep doors open on Thanksgiving came from corporate in response to other companies doing the same.
Pizza Hut's corporate offices have so far remained mum on the matter, but its Facebook page has been inundated with angry posts from customers unhappy with Rohr's termination.
[screengrabs via WSBT22]