A Pizza Hut manager in Indiana says he was fired because he refused to open on Thanksgiving Day. Tony Rohr, an employee of more than 10 years, told his managers that Pizza Hut could “be company that stands up and says we care about our employees and they can have the day off.”
They instead asked him to write his resignation. Still defiant, he explained his decision in the letter:
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.
For employees at Pizza Hut, Thanksgiving and Christmas were the only two days of the year they were guaranteed to have off. When Pizza Hut, retailers, and other restaurants choose to open on Thanksgiving, many American workers that already struggle to take holidays off have little choice but to comply. The U.S. is the only advanced economy that doesn’t guarantee paid vacation days.
This year, more stores than ever are opening during the Thanksgiving holiday to get a jump on Black Friday sales. But some have defied the pressure to open and will instead let workers enjoy time with their families. The stores that open, meanwhile, risk consumer backlash for leading the trend.
Some of the larger retailers pay employees extra for working the holiday, but there is no guarantee. A Ohio state lawmaker wants to change that with a bill that would have stores pay three times normal wages if they open Thanksgiving. Rhode Island, Maine, and Massachusetts already have laws that bar big retailers from opening on Thanksgiving Day.
Why is it that we bitch about Walmart employees having to work, yet we no doubt expect those in the military, the police, the fire department, those working utilities, the bus lines, the roadways, the television stations, the cable company, the gas stations, the airlines, and the grocery stores to keep on working? We don't seem to mind stripping them of their right to be off - just as long as the so-called "greedy corporations" don't do the same. Either we want everyone to have the day off or we don't.
I dislike the greedy bastards as much as anyone, but lets stand for all who have to work on Thanksgiving, not just those who work for Ebeneezer Scrooge.