A former employee of Pizza Hut has come forward with information regarding his dismissal. Tony Rohr, from South Bend, Indiana, was fired for his refusal to open the restaurant on Thanksgiving Day. Two weeks ago, Rohr discovered that Franchise Management Investors, the franchise owner, insisted on opening the restaurant on Thanksgiving to remain competitive, despite the fact that it has never been opened on a holiday before. "I said, 'Why can't we be the people who say we care about our employees? I don't think it's right, and I don't want to make anyone work on Thanksgiving,'" he told ABC News. Therefore, the company attempted to force his resignation.
Rohr said, "My area coach told me the director of operations needed me to write a letter of resignation. I was like, 'Well, being fired and resigning are two very different things and I'm not going to do that.' So I wrote a different letter explaining my position on the situation and handed it in and left." Though, Chuck Kayser, area coach of Franchise Management Investors, persistently maintains that Rohr was never actually fired. "Tony was never fired. He quit his position. I didn't want him to quit, but he chose his own path. He was asked to put it in paper; that's just a standard corporate procedure. I wanted Tony to stay, and have offered him his job back three times already," he explained.
In one part of the letter, he stated: "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. I hope you realize that it's the people at the bottom of the totem pole that make your life possible."
The story made it to local news channels and sparked controversy among the public. The Pizza Hut Facebook page was flooded by angry commentators, but they responded with the following statement. "We feel strongly that the situation involving our independent franchisee and the local store manager could and should have been avoided. We fully respect an employee's right to not work on a holiday, which is why the vast majority of Pizza Huts in America are closed on Thanksgiving. As a result, we strongly recommended that the local franchisee reinstate the store manager and they have agreed. We look forward to them welcoming Tony back to the team."
Yet, the restaurant still opened today. As of late on Wednesday, Rohr remained undecided on whether or not he would return to work at the restaurant. "Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only two days that they're closed in the whole year, and they're the only two days that those people are guaranteed to have off and spend it with their families," he said.
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