Don’t Force Retail Employees to Work on Thanksgiving

Target: Macy’s Inc. CEO Terry J. Lundgren

Goal: Don’t tear people away from their families by opening Macy’s stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Macy’s is planning on opening for business at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day this year, forcing retail workers to leave their families behind on this national holiday so that people can begin Black Friday early. This flies in the face of country-wide protests over the poor treatment of low-level food service and retail workers, especially the practice of starting Black Friday on Thursday.

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a family holiday. Many families, especially those in poverty with parents who work in retail and food service, have trouble finding the opportunity to spend quality time together. Thanksgiving is the one of the very few days of the year during which stores are supposed to close so that this can happen.

It’s bad enough that many of these workers have to get up excessively early on Black Friday so that companies can make more money. Recently, big corporations are opening up on Thanksgiving Day to up their profits even more. We can’t let greedy CEOs take away the last scraps of family time that overworked poor people get.

Many other retailers have answered public outrage over the idea of Black Thursday by vowing to keep their stores closed on Thanksgiving Day. Sign our petition to demand that Macy’s follow the example of companies like Staples, GameStop, and REI by letting their employees stay home with their families on Thanksgiving.


Dear Mr. Lundgren,

Your company recently announced that Macy’s stores will be open on Thanksgiving Day starting at 6 p.m.–right after families are finishing up with their holiday meal. This means that, rather than spending quality time with their loved ones for the night, your low-level workers–the employees who make your profits possible–will have to tear themselves away and drive to work so that other people can start Black Friday earlier than ever.

The numbers have shown that starting your post-Thanksgiving sales earlier doesn’t actually increase profits. It therefore makes no sense to force your employees to come to work on Thanksgiving. It’s pointlessly cruel.

Due to the fact that retail stores are open all hours of the day and the low pay often forces workers to take multiple jobs, the people who work for you tend to have trouble finding opportunities to get together with their families to bond. In the U.S., there are maybe two days out of the year where retail stores are supposed to be closed so that this can happen.

Family values are supposed to be something we all support. By forcing people to come to work on Thanksgiving, you’re sending the message that you don’t care about the health of American families. Please reverse your decision to open stores on Thanksgiving Day and instead vow to let families spent time with one another.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Martin Dürrschnabel

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One Comment

  1. Nobody should have to work Thanksgiving!

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