Fox News picked up on a Glen Burnie incident where a pizza delivery driver for Pizza Hut was demoted and is currently looking for work for defending himself during an attack. Sam Swicegood was attacked on December 17th by a group of five teens and he defended himself with a part of a tent pole that was in his car. His attackers did not get any money, or the pizzas, but Sam was demoted for violating a company policy on carrying weapons. He was told by Pizza Hut that he would no longer be allowed to drive for the company and has been demoted to kitchen staff and his scheduled hours have been reduced.
The online outrage has been fueled by Pizza Hut’s lack of any response. The Pizza Hut Facebook page has been inundated with comments questioning why the chain, which also owns Taco Bell and KFC, places so little value on the safety of their employees.
Twitter has been no less harsh.
@pizzahut If your employees can’t defend themselves against thugs, managers should do the deliveries. See if you fight back. Idiocy.
— Michael R (@Michael049) December 29, 2012
— TeachESL (@TeachESL) December 29, 2012
@pizzahut Pizza Hut Demotes Delivery Man For Defending Himself Against Attackers. Promote him for having the balls to fight
— Barbara Espinosa (@1Barbara1) December 29, 2012
As we have seen in the past, when social media is left unchecked, the targeted company is usually the one who gets hurt. The story has been viral for nearly 18 hours and Pizza Hut has yet to offer a response, however, in the midst of the controversy, they saw fit to respond to a customer complaining that her pizza was not as gooey as she would have liked.
Even as the conversation continued to heat up, Pizza Hut continued to ignore it and created a post to their Facebook page about how to eat their wings.
Sam Swicegood has a posse of supporters who are calling for a boycott of Pizza Hut and their affiliated brands. A Facebook Page was published less than an hour ago and already has several hundred “likes.”
What do you think about Pizza Hut’s policy? Was Sam right in defending himself?