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Written by Matt Murray for the NH Labor News
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First let me start by saying Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your family. I hope you enjoy the holiday and the time you get to spend together.

I would also like to take a moment to thank the men and women who do not get Thanksgiving or most holidays off.  These dedicated men and women work every hour or every day. Many of these people work in 'safety-related' fields.  They are your local Police and Fire departments.  They are there whenever you call.  They are the doctors, nurses, and staff at your local hospitals.  They are there when you twist your ankle playing football after Thanksgiving dinner.

There are many others, like pilots and other airline industry workers. Thanksgiving weekend is the busiest travel time of the year. Millions of people fly home to be with families, and members of my union – the National Air Traffic Controllers Association – help to make sure you get there safely.

These union members in safety-related jobs are not the only people who have to give up their holidays to fulfill their duties.  For example, the IBEW members at PSNH who are working or on-call. Or the State Employees (SEA/SEIU1984) who are working the toll booths throughout New Hampshire. I could go on, but I think you get my point.

Millions of people have to work on holidays; unfortunately, that number is going up every year.  This year, that number is going up dramatically.  This is largely in part to the stealing of the Thanksgiving holiday by the retail industry.

As long as I can remember, the day after Thanksgiving was always a special day for shoppers.  People would read the newspaper to see all the specials. They would get up at un-godly hours and stand in lines to be the first in line for that 'doorbuster' deal.  Over the last few years that has all changed, and I think it is appalling.

This year, all the major retailers are opening earlier than ever to beat out their competitors.  Best Buy and the Simon Malls are opening at midnight on Friday morning.  The new Merrimack Premium Outlets are opening at 10pm on Thanksgiving Day.  Target, Sears, and Toy R Us will be opening at 8pm on Thanksgiving Day.

This is why I am saying that the retail market is stealing Thanksgiving.

The worst of all is Walmart.

Walmart alone employs 1.4 million people in the U.S.  Around the country, most Walmarts will open at 8pm on Thanksgiving.  But other Walmarts will be open all day.

For instance, the Bedford Walmart is going to be open at 7am, just like any other Thursday.  Except Thanksgiving is not a normal day. This is a special day. This is a day to spend with friends and family enjoying good food and fellowship.  This is not a day to be forced into work at a retail store so the corporation can make extra money on 'Black Thursday'.

Mary Pat Tifft a Walmart associate and organizer for OUR Walmart stated

"This Thanksgiving, while millions of families plan to spend quality time with their loved ones, many Walmart workers have been told we will be stocking shelves and preparing for doors to open at 8pm on Thanksgiving night.

My son is coming home from Afghanistan for the holiday, and I would be devastated if I had been scheduled to work. I see the disappointment in the eyes of my co-workers, especially those with young kids, that aren’t going to be able to share the holiday with their families."

How many of these people are getting 'Holiday Pay' or extra pay for giving up their holiday to work? I would guess very few, if any, will – considering that Walmart does not even give the majority of their employees health benefits.

How many of these minimum wage workers would volunteer to work Thanksgiving, if they weren’t required to work?  What is next, opening at 9am on Christmas Day to start the after-Christmas sales?  If this Thanksgiving Day trend continues, what will stop the largest single employer in the U.S. from stealing Christmas, too?

I will do my part to stop this trend, by not shopping on Thanksgiving Day.  I will also be boycotting Walmart this Friday as well, in honor of the OUR Walmart workers who are planning a walkout strike on Black Friday.

Please pledge to 'Stand With Walmart Strikers' and make this Thanksgiving one that Walmart, and all the other retailers, will never forget.

Boycott Walmart Black Friday Infographic

Information about OUR WALMART

OUR Walmart, the associate-led organization that aims to ensure every Walmart employee is treated with respect, raise employee working standards, and improve customer service at Walmart stores nationwide.


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Comment Preferences

  •  not sure if I'm better or worse (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nchristine, Diana in NoVa, a2nite, Avilyn

    I don't have to work Thursday or Friday.

    But I also don't get a paid holiday as a contract worker -- I don't work, I don't get paid.

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 11:36:48 AM PST

  •  Don't just boycot on Friday, boycott ALL YEAR! (5+ / 0-)
    I will do my part to stop this trend, by not shopping on Thanksgiving Day.  I will also be boycotting Walmart this Friday as well, in honor of the OUR Walmart workers who are planning a walkout strike on Black Friday.
    A one day no buy day has significance for Thursday since we don't want to support their policy of making more people work a holiday.

    A one day boycott on just Black Friday means little of you take your money back there and spend it anyway.

    Stop shopping there. I've been to a Wal Mart once in 7 years. It's quite easy to not go once you realize you really don't need most of the the junk they stock.

    -6.38, -6.21: Lamented and assured to the lights and towns below, Faster than the speed of sound, Faster than we thought we'd go, Beneath the sound of hope...

    by Vayle on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 11:54:18 AM PST

    •  Personally (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have only been in a walmart 4-5 times in the last 7 years.  I refuse to shop there unless it is an emergency.  I agree to boycott Walmart everyday, but for some not shopping they are not willing to go that far, but if we can make a statement on Friday, then it is a start!

      Together We Can Fight Back Against The Attacks On Labor In America

      by NH LABOR NEWS on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 08:45:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I vowed to keep out of Target for the rest of the (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, suzq, Avilyn, nchristine, NH LABOR NEWS

    year and I'm doing quite well.  So is my wallet.

    I refuse to shop on Thanksgiving.  In fact, I refuse to buy Christmas presents!  As for Christmas cards--well, organizations keep sending them to my me and my dead mother (whom the organizations somehow think lives with me despite the fact that she departed this life almost five years ago)--and those will go ONLY to people who won't or don't have Internet access.

    We don't buy presents for each other or for family members other than the babies.  Everyone already has everything he or she needs.  Gift money now goes to the Heifer Foundation.  We just get together for a festive meal now, at the holidays.

    I am so sick of the unending exhortations to buy, buy, buy.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 12:01:15 PM PST

  •  Definitely not just Walmart and Target. (0+ / 0-)

    My niece works for one of the private liquor stores in WA which have replaced the state system, and of course none of the benefits alleged at the time the election was held have appeared. Prices up, etc.  In her case, she was notified last week that she has to work on Thanksgiving, the day she usually gets to spend with her grandmother. And the job retention pattern is so frail there that she can't afford not to go in.

  •  Under Federal law, ... (0+ / 0-)

    hourly retail holiday workers will get double pay.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

    by Neuroptimalian on Tue Nov 20, 2012 at 05:17:24 PM PST

    •  Where is that written? (0+ / 0-)

      I would like see that.  Because people tend not to get extra for working Columbus day or MLK both Federal Holidays.

      I would include in another post!

      Together We Can Fight Back Against The Attacks On Labor In America

      by NH LABOR NEWS on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 08:48:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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