Whole Foods Workers Strike for Right to Thanksgiving Holiday; As Pizza Hut GM Fired for Shutting Doors

Employees say it’s their right to spend the national food-focused holiday at home with their families.

Photo Credit: Steven Senne/AP

Almost a dozen Whole Foods employees will strike today at two stores across the country in protest for the right to spend Thanksgiving at home rather than with hordes of customers purchasing goods, Salon reported.

Whole Foods employee, Matthew Camp, a member of the Workers Organizing Committee of Chicago (WOCC), told Salon that he expects up to ten workers to join the strike, which will include an assembly with other fast food and Wal-Mart employees.

“I think it will be disruptive, but that’s kind of the point: to disrupt the flow of things. Causing a disruption also provides us with a platform…we have to make some noise to get our point across,” hesaid.
The protests come amidst a series of low-wage worker strikes across the country, as thousands prepare to march in upcoming Black Friday Wal-Mart Protests.

When asked for comment, a Whole Foods spokesperson told Salon that the company takes pride in helping shoppers by paying Chicagoland area employees time and a half.

Nonetheless, workers remain unimpressed, criticizing retailers for expanding Black Friday store hours, which increasingly encroach on employees' paid holiday time. 

In fact, USA Today reported that this year some stores will kick off Black Friday by opening as early as 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day— including Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Macy's.

Meanwhile, a Pizza Hut general manager from Indiana who decided to take a stand in refusing to open the restartaunt on Thanksgiving holiday, has been fired, according to WSBT.

Tony Rohr, who has worked at Pizza Hut for 10 years, was told opening on Thanksgiving this year was mandatory. However, when he resisted making employees work on the holiday, he was told to sign a letter of resignation.  Instead, Rohr wrote a letter to Pizza Hut explaining his position to his boss which said:

"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," he wrote.

Pizza Hut has refrained from commenting on the matter.








Jodie Gummow is a senior fellow and staff writer at AlterNet.