Target Employees Not Exactly Thrilled With Idea Of Opening At 9 P.M. On Thanksgiving

Who needs Thanksgiving?

Last year, one Target employee managed to get 200,000 signatures on a petition asking Target to reconsider its plan to have employees start work at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving night. Target not only went ahead with that early opening, it’s apparently moved up the opening time to 9 p.m. this year, causing a round of new petitions.

Though Target hasn’t publicly confirmed the 9 p.m. opening time. It’s been confirmed to Consumerist by a number of employees and as you can see in the above image, the retailer has declared the 9 p.m. opening time in the “leaked” (read: sent out by Target PR firms) Thanksgiving day newspaper circular.

Reads the text of one petition on Change.org

I’m not complaining about being a minimum wage worker. Target, as a company, does some good and maintains a commitment to charity. Thanksgiving, though, is one of the three days retail workers get off a year, a day most spend with family. The issue is not black Friday, though it’s not exactly this country’s shining moment. Every year the opening time gets pushed up more and more. Midnight last year was pushing it. How can you expect workers to spend time with family and then stay up all night. It’s inhumane and inconsiderate. You are most likely tucked away in bed while workers are in the stores pushing back a rabid crowd of shoppers trying to get an iPod. A 9pm opening disgusts me and symbolizes everything that is wrong with this country. Give Thanksgiving back to families. The world won’t end if people have wait 7 more hours to buy useless junk that will be outdated in a year anyway.

One employee tells us that some staffers will need to arrive as early as 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving, with the majority of them arriving about an hour before showtime.

Another petition, which is actually from the sister of a Target employee — and which apparently pre-dates the news that the store will indeed be opening at 9 p.m., reads:

My brother has worked at Target for years. To my family, Thanksgiving would not be complete without him. After opening on midnight on Thanksgiving last year, many retailers are opening even earlier this year. Walmart announced that they will open at 8pm on Thanksgiving this year. I’m worried that Target will join too and my brother will miss our traditional Thanksgiving dinner (especially if he has to work a double shift). It’s not just my family either — think about the mothers that will not able to serve dinner for their loved ones or kiss their children good night on such a special night.

Don’t let Target take away Thanksgiving!

According to the folks at Change.org, there are currently at least 20 such petitions asking Target and other retailers to refrain from the early openings in order to let employees enjoy their Thanksgiving.

However, it’s likely there will always be some employees willing to work and it’s definite that there will always be shoppers sucked in by the hype and the lure of deep discounts. So it’s unlikely that this will change.

Thus, I am proposing we get rid of the entire Black Friday concept and move the whole thing up a weekend. Start all of these sales on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. That way, by the time Thanksgiving actually rolls around, everyone will want to take a one-day break to get fat on turkey (or a vegan equivalent) with their friends and family while watching the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions get embarrassed on national TV, just like our forefathers did back in the pilgrim days.