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Papa John's Manifesto

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Returning to the topic that spurred this manifesto, to the employees of Papa John's, there is a way that you can protect yourselves from the callous greed the company has demonstrated.  You can strike.  The ownership of Papa John's needs you a whole lot more than you need them.  They know this and are hopeful you will not figure it out.  Collectively, you are the moving parts of the well-oiled machine that is currently operating over 4,000 franchises in several different continents.  On your backs, you have made the CEO and others on the corporate side of the business very wealthy. You have provided the human capital to produce above-average profit margins for many owners on the franchise-level and rather than show a debt of gratitude, many franchise owners are developing schemes to preclude you from a comfortable standard of living.  Strategies like keeping a worker's status below full-time and releasing people outright, not because of job performance, but to keep the work force under fifty employees in an effort to make affordable health care inaccessible are being devised.  All of you work, none of you are asking for a handout and yet, they are not willing to let you earn fair compensation.  Even when given the option of raising the cost of pizza in order to provide you with affordable health care, some owners would rather slash hours and terminate employees than charge customers eleven-fourteen cents more per pizza. 


The collective apathy of Papa John's leads to an unmistakable conclusion: the company has placed the pursuit of excessive wealth over the welfare of its employees.  It is opposed to providing the heart of its work force with fair compensation.  The company has stated that, "If Obamacare is in fact not repealed.  We will find tactics to shallow out any Obamacare order to protect our shareholder's best interests."  Written clearly between the lines is: we will cut hours and terminate jobs from the people who need them the most, in the pursuit of excessive wealth.  John Schnatter's priorities clearly rest with the shareholders, not the people whose work maintains the value of their shares.  In effect, you have been devalued and unduly exploited.  So how do you respond?         


You must first recognize how important you are to the company: you are its backbone.  You are not expendable.  You have value; you have worth.  If ownership is unwilling to recognize this fact then you must make them.  Protests and rallies can be effective, but they pale in comparison to bringing operations to an abrupt and sudden halt.  By simply not showing up one day, en masse, Papa John's will realize just how integral you are to the company.  They can replace some of you, but they cannot replace all of you; especially not overnight.  I therefore call for an October 26, 2012 strike.  Friday is a very popular day for pizza orders and Papa John's will not be able to deliver without its work force.  


All employees who are currently not receiving fair compensation or who detest the underlying unfairness of the situation should refrain from working on the target date.  Staying consistent with the principles of this manifesto, this stand does not have to create widespread division and discord between ownership, management and the rank and file.  Amongst the franchise owners and management will be a mix of viewpoints, some will be in favor of economic fairness; others will take a more callous approach.  It is important not to ostracize people who support the strike, simply because they are in a more fortunate position than you.  To the Papa John's owners and management who care for your employees and do not subscribe to the company's pursuit of excessive wealth: stand with your colleagues, your friends, your kin.  Exercise independent thought, sometimes the company line is wrong.  Do not let your loyalty to the company interfere with your principles and deep-seeded belief of what is fair.  Distinguishing between right and wrong is rarely complicated; choosing to do right over wrong, and absorbing the fallout, is often the hard part.  Here is your chance.


This might not be easy; not everyone will agree with you, but it is time to take a stand.  Everyday, the employees that man the 4,000 plus Papa John's restaurants fuel the company's continued growth and success.  Their labor lines the pockets of its CEO, executives, shareholders and franchise owners.  Far too many employees are not receiving fair compensation for their labor.  The company is very capable of providing affordable health care to its work force while expanding; the two objectives are not mutually exclusive.  Whether the price of pizza is going up eleven-fourteen cents or Papa John's will accept reduced profit margins, the bill for fair compensation is due.  October 26, 2012 is the date.  






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Hello, I am submitting a manifesto that I wrote in response to Papa John's comments regarding Obamacare and the overarching issue of affordable health care and entitlement to a livable wage in our country. I hope you publish it. -RWH
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