(WBNG) — Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says he’s enjoyed eating at Friendly’s in the past, but he doesn’t like how the chain abruptly closed several of its restaurants.
23 Friendly’s locations across the northeast, including 14 in upstate New York have closed its doors.
“That is inhumane,” said Schumer. “It is cruel and it shows that some of these corporations just don’t care about their workers and it could be any of us who are in that situation.”
Two Friendly’s locations closed in the area in Endicott and in the town of Chenango.
“What went down with these restaurants is anything but friendly to their workers,” added Schumer. “To so many upstate workers and we have to get to the bottom of it.”
Senator Schumer says he’s pushing to make a difference in helping former employees who were laid off.
“So today, I’m demanding answers from the federal department of labor,” he said. “I have just sent a letter to secretary of labor Acosta, asking to investigate what exactly happened here.”
The democratic senator says this isn’t just about the chain but it’s about fairness.
“The department of labor has to investigate the manner by which these workers were notified of layoffs,” he said. “Determine and see what happened and if what happened needs new laws and augmentation of the existing law. I’m prepared to introduce legislation that might do that.”
According to a letter by Friendly’s CEO George Michel sent to 12 News Monday by a media spokesperson, “the company initiated a strategic assessment of our corporate-owned footprint with an eye toward ongoing viability and maximizing resource investment.” The letter would go on to say ‘the restaurant has locations in geographic areas that have changed dramatically.”
12 News reached out to Friendly’s again Wednesday. We have yet to hear back.