Kmart Forcing Employees To Work On Thanksgiving, Ruining Their Holidays So You Can Buy Cheap Crapâ€
I know I wrote about this topic last week but my anger has only amplified since. I have seen stupid memes on Facebook and status updates of those wondering why people are suddenly in a rage because some retail employees will have to work on Thanksgiving. Their faultless logic brings them to the conclusion that, duh, because employees in other industries have to work on holidays that retail folks might as well also. And to that I say, bullshit. Do you need treatment in a hospital if you fall ill? Yes. Do you need the fire trucks to come if Uncle Louis sets your house ablaze with his cigar? Of course. Do you need gas for your car if you are driving 400 miles to see Gran-Gran? I suppose you do, sadly- I hate to think of someone working at a gas station on a holiday but I guess this does fall under “essential.” But please explain this to me- does anyone need ANYTHING Kmart sells so desperately that they should be open on Thanksgiving? I’m going to go with no.
Jillian Fisher wants her mother home for Thanksgiving and, who can blame her? Her mom is a retail employee and has been with Kmart for 21 years. Most of those years, I am sure, where not open for Thanksgiving. You can stop with the “she signed up for it” argument. It is entirely reasonable for someone who works a cash register at a store that sells non-essential items to not have to work on major holidays. From Jezebel via ThinkProgress:
Last year, Fisher’s mother called her daughter nearly in tears because she was told she would have to work what is called a “split shift” on Thanksgiving Day, meaning she had to spend two chunks of time at work. “She was not going to be able to spend any real time with our family,” Fisher said. “To hear her on the verge of tears really infuriated me, to think why are they doing this to people, they need time to be with their families.” This is the one holiday where the whole family gets together: her mother’s brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces. “Thanksgiving is pretty much the one time of year we all get together,” she said.
It’s that frustration that sparked the petition.
So there goes the “it’s optional, they volunteer” argument. It’s not- I worked retail over 10 years ago and it wasn’t optional for Black Friday so I would imagine it’s not for Thanksgiving in most stores either because, of course, many employees would request the day off. To those saying “they need the money and the overtime”? You have apparently never worked retail. Many (not all, but many) managers will simply short their hours the rest of the week so they don’t have to pay them too much more than usual. Jillian goes on to explain that employee’s at her mother’s Kmart haven’t even been told yet about the extended hours and have only heard about it through the news. So, less than two weeks before a major holiday, they have no idea whether they should make plans for dinner or not. I think that’s deplorable.