But I'm not too busy to be outraged by this, from Detroit:
I'm glad to know that retail workers are fighting back, and I fully support their efforts:
A handful of retailers recently announced they would open late on Thanksgiving Thursday for Black Friday shoppers, but serious bargain shoppers just landed the biggest fish of them all: Walmart.
Opening the pages of its Black Friday ads for Facebook and Twitter fans, Walmart announced it will open earlier than ever before — at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving — for hardcore shoppers. So if you’re looking to save on electronics and toys, prepare to push away from the dinner table and hit the road.Also opening early, at midnight on Thanksgiving, are Target, Macy’s and Kohl’s. Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills will open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving while Tanger Outlets in West Branch and Howell open at 10 p.m.
As more retailers try to turn Thanksgiving Thursday into Black Friday — some employees are fighting back.Think about that: employees at Walmart might have to be at work by eight or nine p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to get ready for the big Black Friday rush (or should we start calling it Black Thursday, and decorate for the holiday with shadowy turkeys or something?) That means they can't linger at the Thanksgiving table, they can't stick around for a late dessert and coffee when all that turkey-induced tryptophan wears off, they can't travel over the river and through the woods to Grandmother's house (unless Grandmother lives close to the shopping centers); in a word, they can't enjoy a whole day off on Thanksgiving Day. Are the descendents of Ebeneezer Scrooge lurking in the corporate offices of Walmart, Target, Macy's, Best Buy and Kohl's?
More than 80,000 people signed an online petition on change.org asking retail giant Target to reverse its decision to open its doors on Thanksgiving Day — and allow workers to spend the holiday with family and friends. [...]
The campaign was launched by Anthony Hardwick, a Target employee from Omaha, Nebraska, following news that the company’s management had moved the standard Black Friday opening time from 5 a.m. on Friday to midnight on Thanksgiving. The new opening time will require employees to arrive at work by 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.
“All Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones on Thanksgiving,” said Hardwick, who works as a part-time parking attendant at a Target store in Omaha, in a press release from change.org. ”With the midnight opening, employees like myself will have to leave for work right in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner. We don’t mind hard work, but cutting into our holidays is a step too far.”
“If Target doesn’t reverse its decision and allow associates to spend Thanksgiving holidays with their family, they might suffer from a fast-growing consumer backlash,” Hardwick added.
Will they? After Target, Macy’s, Best Buy and Kohl’s announced plan to open at midnight on Thanksgiving – the biggest fish of them all — Walmart — decided to go even further and open at 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving.
Look: I know perfectly well that lots of people have to work on Thanksgiving, and on other holidays as well--police officers, firefighters, doctors and nurses, military personnel, hotel workers, pharmacy technicians, even some restaurant workers (because not everyone has family to go to, and because all the other workers I listed above might well need a cup of coffee and a sandwich to get through the dreary work hours). But we know that those people are at work for really good reasons: to keep people safe, to help those in need, to care for the sick and the hurt, to attend to the real and basic needs of travelers and others, all of which are acts of charity.
But forcing retail store workers, many of them paid only minimum wage, to leave their families during the Thanksgiving feast so they can prepare to be trampled even earlier than usual by bargain-crazed lunatics drunk on consumption and filled with greed, competitiveness, and a level of hostility usually seen only on the battlefield doesn't even begin to be justifiable on the grounds of charity or human decency. In fact, it's just the opposite; it's a decision by the multinationalist corporate owners to pander to the worst qualities of present-day Americans--and if they were doing it on purpose to hasten America's downfall they could hardly have planned a better strategy.
In fact, I'm pretty sure our multinationalists would like to do away with the whole notion of pausing for a day in November to give thanks with our families for the blessings of liberty and life in this nation, because for one whole day people aren't out there putting themselves first, indulging in mindless shopping and spending, propping up our consumer economy with selfish and thoughtless consumption; instead, they are, mostly, enjoying a home-cooked meal with family and friends, and remembering that life is about more than acquisition. Which makes the whole day a shameful waste, from the perspectives of the presidents and CEOs of the companies listed in the article.
And I, for one, won't be shopping for Christmas gifts at any of those stores this Christmas. Because life is about more than acquisition, and the shadowy turkeys who want us to forget that don't deserve a dime of my money.