As you probably know, the major chains have put increasing pressure on their employees to put in extra hours on Thanksgiving. For example, one department manager who normally works a day shift (beginning at 7 A.M.) tells me that he is being forced to work additional hours from 8 P.M. to 5 A.M. on Wednesday, followed by a 6 P.M. to 6 A.M. shift starting on Thursday.
No sleep. And very little time for family, on a family holiday.
The head honchos at the store refer to these grueling extra hours as "The Event." Lots of other stores are now having these Events.
Blame corporate greed, yes. But also blame yourselves.
If consumers didn't scramble to show up at The Event, employees would not have to work these outrageous hours. Sure, they'll be paid extra, as per the dictates of federal law -- or, as Libertarians would call it, socialism
. But most of those employees would rather spend the holiday with family.
There are two things you can do to combat this greed: Boycott Wal-Mart (if only for this one day) and support the Great Wal-Mart strike.
The boycott is a simple matter. Simply don't show up at the Wal-Mart and Target "events."
Attending Black Friday is a black mark on your conscience. Do not go
. True, you could miss out on a few good deals -- but those deals come at great human cost. You have no right to critique corporate greed if you, too, play the role of the callous, inhumane money-grubber.
If you're honest with yourself, you'll admit that there's nothing within that store that you really, really need to buy on that day. Do not go. Boycott
As for the strike -- well, perhaps it would be best if I let these folks
do rest of the talking. Everything below the asterisks comes from a brave group called Sum of Us:
* * *
If there’s one corporation that exemplifies everything that’s wrong with the world economy
-- the violation of human rights in the name of profit, the casual
destruction of the environment, the enrichment of the 1 percent at the
expense of everyone else -- that corporation is Walmart.
As Walmart expands, it kills small businesses and guts local
economies, destroying more jobs than it creates. Walmart consumes more
energy than the bottom 57 countries put together, and despite promises
to embrace green energy, only 2 percent of its power comes from
renewable sources. And Walmart is notorious for gender discrimination:
women make up two-thirds of Walmart’s workforce, but less than a fifth
of senior management, and the highest-earning women at Walmart make a
third less than the highest-earning men.
And Walmart’s unethical behavior is working just great for the people at the top: the Walton heirs have greater net worth than the bottom 100 million Americans combined.
The SumOfUs.org community stands for putting people over profits, and
Walmart stands for the precise opposite. And right now we have a
once-in-a-generation opportunity to fight back against Walmart’s
race-to-the-bottom economics. Walmart workers are getting ready
to strike on the biggest shopping day of the year, “Black Friday,” and
they asked the SumOfUs.org community to help make the strike as big as
Can you help make the strike possible by donating to the Walmart workers’ strike fund?
For 50 years, Walmart has waged an all-out war on workers
-- driving down wages, crushing attempts to organize, and sourcing from
sweatshops all over the world. Today, Walmart is the world’s largest
private sector employer (only the Chinese and American militaries employ
more people), with over two million employees around the world. The
average Walmart associate makes just $8.81 an hour, and hundreds of
thousands of them live below the poverty line. Walmart costs American taxpayers $1.5 billion
in food stamps, health care, housing vouchers and other programs every
year because it doesn’t pay its workers enough to cover basic needs.
We can’t overstate how big of a deal this strike is. If this fledgling worker movement can continue to grow across the country, it could be our biggest chance to end Walmart’s abusive working conditions
-- which would change the lives of millions of workers around the world.
The workers are taking an enormous risk
by going on
strike. They have no union, so they will have to go without pay. Some
might be illegally fired. Workers who work Walmart’s definition of
“full-time” often makes just $15,500 a year and can barely make ends
meet as it is, so missing just a few days of work could mean their kids
That’s why this strike fund is so important.
The money will go to gift cards that will make up for lost pay -- which will help the families of these courageous workers make ends meet
for the month. Our friends at OUR Walmart, the workers’ organization,
say that this little bit of security could give more workers the
confidence they need to walk out and make the strike even bigger.
They’ve challenged us to raise $20,000 for the strike fund. Can we do
Walmart workers need our help to make this strike happen - will you have their back?
We know the workers already have Walmart scared
store managers across the country have received emergency instructions
about how to deal with the strikes. And if workers walk off the job on
America’s biggest shopping “holiday,” they’ll seriously disrupt
Walmart’s business and let the world’s largest retailer that it can’t
ignore its workers anymore.
The strikes that have already occurred at Walmart have inspired the
SumOfUs community. Over a hundred thousand of us have already taken
action, by signing our petitions, sharing our solidarity statements, and
more -- and almost 1000 have donated to buy ads about the strikes in
Walmart executives’ hometown newspaper.
Now, are you ready to help deliver a knockout blow to Walmart?
Click here to support the workers by donating to the Walmart workers’ strike fund.
"Happy 50th Birthday, Walmart?
The Walmart 1%
Making Change at Walmart factsheets
 Mother Jones: To Match Walton Heirs' Fortune, You'd Need to Work at Walmart for 7 Million Years
September 20, 2012
 BBC: Which is the world's biggest employer?
March 19, 2012
 Forbes: Six Waltons have more wealth than the bottom 30% of Americans
December 14, 2011