New Hope In Fight For TGIF Paychecks

Jacob Whitley
Jacob Whitley
Vanvitha Holman
Vanvitha Holman

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Two restaurant closures in two weeks, the sudden shut-downs on Oahu have left many TGI Fridays employees unemployed, and unpaid.

But with a few strong voices, those laid off now have some hope.

A day after workers protested, the restaurant's parent company issued a response Saturday, saying it wasn't aware workers didn't receive their final paycheck until KHNL News 8 contacted the company.

"We're really glad that somebody at least knew so that we wouldn't be shoved aside and just forgotten about," says Jacob Whitley, a former TGI Fridays employee.

In a statement, parent company Carlson Restaurants Worldwide says:

"Last evening was the first we heard about team members not being paid and we absolutely do not condone the way this situation is being handled by Joe Khoury of Wesco Restaurant Group of Hawai'i, the owner and operator of these two restaurants. We will do everything in our power to ensure that Mr. Khoury will pay his team members."

"It's very positive, first bright news that we've had. So it's something to cling to and hope for you know," says Vanvitha Holman, a former TGI Fridays employee.

While corporate may have some say in their situation, a spokesperson for Carlson Restaurants Worldwide says the fight for paychecks must be taken up with Khoury.

She says if former employees can't track down Mr. Khoury, they should contact his lawyer in Hawai'i.

Those who haven't gotten paid say they plan to do that first thing on Monday.