Pizza Chain's Obamacare Stance Spurs Dueling Protests

After Papa John's says it will slice employee hours and boost prices to pay for Affordable Care Act costs, people on both sides pounce. Will you buy or boycott?

Hoping to replicate the success of Chick-fil-A after it was boycotted over gay rights, conservatives are staging a pro-pizza day to counter protests against Papa John's Obamacare stance.

At issue is Papa John owner John Schnatter's announcement that he would raise prices and slice employee hours to pay for costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

As liberals began organizing boycotts of the pizza chain, Papa John's supporters created a Facebook page to promote National Papa John's Appreciation Day on Friday.

"Papa Johns has been targeted by the left for a boycott, for simply articulating that ObamaCare would hurt profits and force cutbacks in employee hours," the Facebook page says. "Stand up to this nonsensical and illogical action and support Papa John's this Friday."

The pro-Papa event is reminiscent of Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, which saw droves of people nationwide patronize the fast-food chain after its CEO came under fire for criticizing gay marriage.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the pepperoni fence, anti-Papa forces have urged people to switch to local pizza joints this week. "Papa John's owner has decided to combat the Affordable Healthcare Act by increasing his prices, threatening terminations and lowering employee hours - simply to avoid and protest employee health benefits," said one pro-boycott invitation.

A story at Forbes.com says Papa John's will see a 0.4 to 0.7 percent increase in healthcare costs for employees working 30 or more hours a week under the new law.

Will you buy or boycott Papa John's? Tell us in the comments.

met00 November 19, 2012 at 09:34 PM
possibly because he can read and doesn't get all his news and information from Faux News (The Pravda of the GOP) Imagine what would happen if the government got out of propping up multi-billion dollar operations like the oil and gas industry and the agribusiness and actually made them compete? Ever notice that the biggest drinkers off the federal teat are the ones that scream the loudest about the evils of individuals getting anything from the government, or worse yet, any form of government regulation for their industry? Has anyone else noticed how the GOP now represents the exact same people that the former Soviet Union did (Old wealthy angry white men)? Here's to hoping history repeats itself. .
Shripathi Kamath November 22, 2012 at 05:16 AM
And predictably Papa John blames it on some sort of misunderstanding/misquotes http://huff.to/UKOHFZ "Many in the media reported that I said Papa John's is going to close stores and cut jobs because of Obamacare. I never said that. The fact is we are going to open over hundreds of stores this year and next and increase employment by over 5,000 jobs worldwide. And, we have no plans to cut team hours as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Clearly there was some misunderstanding somewhere...." 17 cents a pizza more and healthcare for all full-time workers. Well, duh! And how's our buddy Metz doing? http://huff.to/UKP7Ml As for consequences to those who damage the brand, a Denny's spokesperson said, "We have a variety of options depending on the circumstances to respond to franchisee actions that are not in the best interests of the brand and deal with those on a individual franchisee basis as required." Ooops, Denny's is going to exercise some options *cough*lawsuit*cough*. Why? Because patrons reacted, and other owners not associated with Denny's lost some business. ++ Mouannes told HuffPost. "People didn't like what they heard and were saying they wouldn't support Denny's, but we have nothing to do with that decision. I am not a fan of the idea. We are opposing the 5 percent [surcharge] -- it's not even a consideration for us." Wonder if Patch would do a follow-up on this.
MFriedrich November 22, 2012 at 06:57 AM
Ah yes, the old "I never said that!" excuse. It's worth noting that Denny's spent billions of dollars over several decades trying to build up their brand. It's striking that, in a matter of minutes, the public statement of one inarticulate dolt can jeopardize it all and also harm the investments of peer franchisees across the country. Small business owners should be rewarded for taking risks and "creating" jobs. But clearly some of them never went to business school, and even fewer possess the common sense required when dealing with the media.
Shripathi Kamath November 22, 2012 at 09:01 AM
"I never said that" "You misunderstood me" "It was an error in judgment" "The media twisted my words" They are all standard issue. Here's the thing. The media encourages this. Witness this very article. Patch.com published it for rather obvious reasons. Since the Romney loss, interest has waned, so we need juicy topics. Presenting the fear of the unknown with Papa John's filled the need. And if you remember our conversation (it is still up there), I kinda predicted how it'll be diffused by the CEO. But I waited a day to post it to verify that Patch will ignore it. Of course they will, because it is no longer a story that'll draw interest. Most of our media does this, which is why those excuses work. A good drinking game is to guess which excuse will be used for what. The Petraeus story would make nice headlines, but it needs an angle that somehow riles the right wing. I suspect that'll come when we can shape the story into an indictment on Susan Rice. What else? I suppose they could (at least at MV) talk about the four corner holiday displays. Because this year the secular humanists/backyard skeptics have an exhibit wishing all a joyous solstice. Surely the war on Christmas has a ring to it.
Shripathi Kamath November 22, 2012 at 09:03 AM
..and speaking of the War on Christmas, guess we will not hear much about these ones: http://bit.ly/ScgAK1 Well, Happy Thanksgiving mfriedrich, have safe fun with your family and friends.


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