I cannot begin to explain how outraged I am over the theft of Thanksgiving by greedy corporations who are all trying to one-up each other by opening earlier and earlier.
Thanksgiving has always been about family. The one holiday that does not revolve around buying anything more than a massive meal. It is a day where everyone has the day off, kids come home from college, and families pack up to head to grandma’s for a piece of her homemade pie.
For too many low-wage workers this Thanksgiving will not be about family but feeding the greed of their corporate bosses.
This year almost every major retailer will be open on Thanksgiving. The worst is Kmart who will be open at 6 am, and staying open for 42 hours straight.
I applaud all of the stores who have chosen not to open like GameStop and Costco.
“For us, it’s a matter of principle,” said Tony Bartel, the president of GameStop, whose company has 4,600 stores nationwide. “We have a phrase around here that we use a lot — it’s called ‘protecting the family.’ We want our associates to enjoy their complete holidays.”
“It’s an important holiday in the U.S., and our employees work hard during the holiday season, and we believe they deserve the opportunity to spend Thanksgiving Day with their family and friends,” said Richard A. Galanti, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Costco Wholesale.
My problem with stores being open on Thanksgiving is that they are forcing workers to forgo their own Thanksgiving to go to work or lose their jobs. Kmart has come under fire for threatening to fire any employee who does not show up for work on Thanksgiving. These low-wage workers have no choice in the matter.
I don’t see the Kmart CEO working a 12-hour day on Thanksgiving, even though it was his decision to open.
Retail workers have always been treated like garbage from their corporate bosses. They are paid just above minimum wage and are scheduled as much as possible without being classified as a full time employee to avoid being required to offer them healthcare.
Across the country Walmart workers will be walking out in protest. Making Change at Walmart (OUR Walmart) is walking out to protest Walmart’s low wages, lack of opportunity for full time work, and refusal to offer affordable healthcare options for associates.
This year I suggest you start a new Thanksgiving weekend tradition. Spend Thanksgiving with your family. Enjoy the day, eat until you burst, then later get a little more.
Instead of running around like a madman on Friday, take some time and stand with Walmart workers protesting in your area. (Click here to find a Black Friday Protest near you.) All workers deserve respect in the workplace, they deserve fair wages, and access to quality affordable healthcare.
Lastly, spend your Saturday shopping in your local community. Supporting the small businesses in your community ensures that your money stays in your community. Small Business Saturday has grown in popularity in the past few years and that is one Thanksgiving sale that I can stand behind.