Target: Kmart CEO Chuck Conaway
Goal: Stop Kmart from forcing workers to spend time away from their families during the holidays.
Black Friday, otherwise regarded as the biggest shopping day of the year, has been trending towards earlier starting times in recent years. Retailers like Walmart, Target and Kohl’s have announced that they will be celebrating ‘Black Friday’ on Thursday, but while these earlier starting times may be beneficial to consumers, their effects on retail workers far overshadow the significant markdowns and potential profits.
In a press release, Kmart announced that it would be celebrating its ‘Black Friday’ on Thursday at 6 a.m. Although the company made this move last year, they at least had the decency to close its doors at night and reopen them when Black Friday is technically implied to begin. But, this year, Kmart will not be closing its doors meaning the retailer is set to stay open for an astounding 41 hours straight. What does this mean for retail workers? Longer hours than usual and yet another day stolen from them. On average, retail workers are granted just three days off in an entire year. Any more days taken means huge cuts from paychecks and the risk of losing their jobs, as many retail chains don’t have an active union to fight for workers.
The issue at hand isn’t Black Friday, but the sheer apathy that leads to the exploitation of retail workers. The holidays are a time that should be spent with family and friends. Kmart’s newest proposition would make it the most inhumane and inconsiderate retailer of all those mentioned here.
By signing this petition you’ll tell Kmart to put an end to this madness and think more about the backbone of the company’s existence: its workers.
Dear Chuck Conaway,
Your decision to allow Kmart to open at 6 a.m., Thanksgiving day, is not only cruel but terribly insulting. While you spend your Thanksgiving with friends and family, the individuals employed as retail workers make their way through rabid mobs of inconsiderate individuals fighting each other for last minute ‘deals.’
Given the sharp decline of Kmart’s popularity and economy it is clear that making money rules most of the decisions you’ve been making lately, but it should not come at the expense of Kmart’s workers. These people have children, spouses, family members and close friends that would rather see them at a dinner table, enjoying a Thanksgiving meal than in their uniforms, headed out the door to work. Black Friday implies that it should begin on Friday, so your attempt to squeeze just a couple more hours of profit is disgusting and shameful.
I sincerely hope that you stand up, rediscover your humanity and realize that your decision is hurting your retail workers. It is nothing but an act of modern day wage slavery.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Wikimedia