Target employees petition retailer to "save Thanksgiving"

Categories: Target
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This is not the super Thanksgiving employees had in mind.
Target is facing a backlash from its own employees as the clock ticks down to the craziest shopping day of the year: Black Friday.

In the escalating arms race to get as many crazed shoppers in the door as possible, Target announced it would be opening its stores at midnight on Thanksgiving. That includes all Minnesota locations.

While one's initial thought might be, "Who'd want to be shopping on Thanksgiving night?" the better query is, "Who'd want to be working?"

As it turns out, no one.

A Target parking attendant in Omaha has touched off something of an online revolt against the retailer by starting a petition called "Tell Target to save Thanksgiving."

In order to make their midnight opening, the petition points out, workers will need to be in stores ready to go by 11 p.m. That means if there's any hope of sleeping before the shift, employees would have to say sayonara to holiday plans that don't end before 3 or 4 p.m.

It reads in part:

A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation -- all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night's rest on Thanksgiving!
Gregg Steinhafel.jpg
Gregg Steinhafel
It asks Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel to change the hours back to the traditional, already-crazy Black Friday opening time of 5 a.m. So far, the petition has collected roughly 99,000 signatures and the count is ticking steadily upward.

It may all be for naught, however. Target has already sided with its looniest customers, saying in a statement that "we are making it easier than ever to deliver on our guests' wants and needs."

They're not the only ones. Mall of America will open its doors at midnight, and Walmart is set to open even earlier -- 10 p.m. It's all an attempt to boost what is predicted to be a lackluster holiday shopping season. Target has also already announced extended hours for Christmas Eve and the day after Christmas.

While there's likely some Target employee who'd rather be stocking socks than talking to the in-laws, sounds like one hell of a start to the folly-day season.

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23 comments
Ernesto
Ernesto

Be thankful you have a job to go to.  Millions out of work and someone is whining about working.  The tropps in Iraq would like to have the day off too.  If you don't like your job, quit and  give the opportunity to someone who appreciates it.

Mybigsassymouth
Mybigsassymouth

Yes Sandra since "consumerism" is already out of control let's just give in some more!  Why does the CEO just personally punch eachone of these people in the face and say "HEY I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU OR YOUR FAMILY JUST MONEY" For love of God this is not ok!!!!

da Man
da Man

I wont be there will the Ivory tower godGregg Steinhafel be ther.... doubt it

John Paul
John Paul

I find it interesting that Target knew about the change in Black Friday opening time back in July of 2011. They spoke about it during the National sales meeting in which all the the store leaders are required to attend. They failed to announce the change in time to the rest of the employees of the company until early to mid November. This caused people who have been planing their family dinners for months to meet both their job requirements (giving the general public a chance to receive great deals, while recieveing verbally abuse from guest who are trying to kill each other over a barbie doll) and being able to be the mother, brother, son, daughter etc. to their families.

Due to the delay in the announcement many of these plans had to be canceled, choosing the all important dollar over quality time with family. Despite what many of these reports say per company policy the "crowd management team" or security team is expected to arrive at the store at 9:00 PM on thanks giving day. This is three hours before the store opens. 

IT is a shame to see a company who has the battle cry of "pro team" who shaft their employees in such a degree that they would hold the dollar above those who work their day in and day out.

As a side note I would like to know what store Greg Steinhafel plans to be at. I would also like to know when he is going to arrive to pass out fliers, man a barricade, or pass out coffee. I would be willing to be that he will still be at home with his children and family, getting fat on turkey, and being the loving family member that i am sure he is. While the rest of the company suffers through another day of driving sales while sacrificial their family. 

Judy Kojadinovich
Judy Kojadinovich

Family is so much more important than Target taking family members away at at night.  All one could think of is I need to get rest I am working at midnight to kill the Thanksgiving Holiday for many families,  Let us be truly thankful for families .  I support these workers and will not be shopping at Target in protest

Soneeta Mirza
Soneeta Mirza

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Jessa Taylor
Jessa Taylor

What a douche bag company....just more greed. Boo Target, you just lost a customer.

neon9
neon9

This kind of logic by the big box retailers is exactly why we are having the "Occupy" movement across the USA.  Screw the little guy, it's all about more money and bonuses for the big wigs.

jr
jr

I had a horrible injury that has affected my life in a horrible way in a Target store 3 years ago. I learned what a horrible $$$$$ hungry corporation they are. They do not care about their customers, why would they care about their employees???

SezCoo
SezCoo

Companies like Target, Best Buy and WalMart could care less about their employeees. All they care about is PROFIT. Nothing else. Shame on them. anon-stuff.us.tc

StevenMN
StevenMN

Its a pipe dream but I wish retailers would take a cue from car dealers.  They're mandated to be closed on Sundays in Minnesota.  The kicker is that the dealers themselves want to keep it that way. Its a level playing field since everyone is closed and they get an official day of rest._

Some 50 years ago there were blue laws that kept everything but some essential businesses/services closed on Sundays. Its was one day a week where most people were compelled to kick back and relax. No running around catching up on errands and shopping.  It also provided some quality family time._

I listened to a feature on MPR last week regarding the earlier opening times. Retailers don't have too much to gain by opening earlier. It just PR.  The super bargains will be sold out by noon whether they open at midnight or 5am. Add to that the Black Friday diehards who are becoming more selective. They shop for the advertised bargains and that's it.  Not much impulse buying.

Sherryls5
Sherryls5

Target isn't the only one working on Thanksgiving! What about Fire dept ,Police, Hospitals, Nursing homes,  I am sure there are more !  

h

Anastasia
Anastasia

Being a former Target employee and my husband being a current one, we don't really see the big deal. Sure he won't be able to sleep, but chances are he wouldn't be able to anyways. Most people don't. That is just the way the cookie crumbles. If you choose to work for Target, or any retailer really, you should expect something like this. It's the nature of competition. And just be thankful that Target didn't actually choose to match Walmart's opening. The good news in all of it is that he will be clocked out before noon this year, whereas last year he worked 3am-4pm. I can see why you'd want to ask them to push the times back, but it doesn't seem altogether realistic this late in the game.

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

This only highlights what retail workers (including fast food employees) go through every day. Limited health benefits (if even offered), consistent work on nights and weekends, no power over scheduling, no paid time off, and ridiculously low pay. Then they have to be at the front-line of insane, self-loathing American consumerism. People shop when they're sad, angry, feeling inadequate, hopped up on anti-depressants, or generally being a self-important biatch. Retail workers deal with the worst of american society, and are just expected to smile and take it. These are not unskilled workers. They are unpaid therapists and punching bags. STOP SHOPPING PEOPLE, especially at chain stores and during holidays. If there are no cutomers then Target can't claim customer demand as their defense.

AliciaKrop
AliciaKrop

as a former Target employee, who was punched by a "guest" as I tried to get into the store to open it on Black Friday several years ago, this just furthers the unnecessary crazy of Black Friday. After showing the person my name tag and indicating I was just trying to get to work, they did at least apologize. 

Sandra Fredine
Sandra Fredine

I'm not going to be shopping at that time, but I have a question.  Save Thanksgiving from what? Consumerism?  Lost that battle years ago.  I'd much rather see a petition to save Thanksgiving (and a whole lot of other days) from drunk drivers.

Jhett12
Jhett12

Are these workers you list getting no health benefits and making at or near minimum wage? Think things through before you speak...

Gigiswims77
Gigiswims77

There is a HUGE difference between Target and the Fire Department, Police, Hospitals, and Nursing Homes. One is necessary, the other isn't. Everyone feels for those who have to work on holidays, but why make more people work than is necessary?

HurdyGurdy
HurdyGurdy

"chances are he wouldn't be able to [sleep] anyways. Most people don't."

There are so many holes in your argument that I started writing 4 different responses to various statements before stopping myself. Essentially you're saying "suck it up, that's life, not gonna change, could be worse." And you're right, it could be much worse. But what happened to social standards? Justifying the unfair treatment of some workers because other workers get treated worse is bullshit. Retailers demand employees sacrifice their personal lives and well-being to maximize profit, then continue to cut compensation to keep prices low and "serve the customers." No one chooses to work a thankless, low-end job. It's called economic need, and customers and corporations use poverty as leverage. "Skip Thanksgiving with your family or you lose your job." We all understand it's the nature of competition. Competition is another name for the race to the bottom, which is another term for cutting safety, environmental, social and employee standards so we can buy cheap stuff and Greg ShitfaceCEO can pocket a few more million bucks a year.

I'll just use the same argument some people use whenever there is a demand for higher taxes: If you want someone to work on holidays so the American customer can go shopping, why don't you do it? If slave-driving retail workers is essential to fixing our economy, why don't you skip your turkey and get to work?

Kim Kaliszewski
Kim Kaliszewski

But Target offers their employees paid vacation time and a decent health-care package. Sorry to deflate your rant, but that's the truth. Maybe you should go find yourself a nice "I HATE WAL-MART" thread instead....

StevenMN
StevenMN

Silly Sandra. You're awfully snarky. I think you know full well what they're trying to save. Just a decent holiday with their families. Perhaps if Target was opening at a more reasonable time it would encourage some drunks to stay home and sleep it off.

Anastasia
Anastasia

I never said it shouldn't change. Obviously the system it skewed. I am just trying to be a little realistic here. I do not agree with the ethics or lack thereof in this competition over consumerism, but seeing how 4 other companies have already announced being open by midnight or earlier it seems a little late for them to back out. This is what black Friday is though; competition, consumerism, greed, etc. Thanksgiving's values have already been lost in the anticipation of the morning after. I am not in favor of Target's decision, let's get that straight, but I try to be a little realistic. 

By the way:I am a former employee of Target. Been there. Done that. No big deal.Also I don't eat turkey, so I can gladly skip it.

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