Last Thanksgiving, a handful of big name retailers started their Black Friday sales early by opening Thanksgiving evening. Recently, Walmart announced that they will be opening at 8 p.m. this year. For one Walmart employee I’ve talked to, this means coming in at 7:30 p.m. Thanksgiving evening and working until 4:30 a.m. I am very concerned about the families of this nation in regards to a national holiday that is uniquely American. In discussing this with my family, friends, and community, one young man I talked with pointed out the irony of this situation: A day set aside for expressing gratitude for what we have, is now a day where we find people lining up around buildings, essentially saying, “I don’t have enough, I need more!” Together we must draw a line to separate Thanksgiving from Black Friday; it has gone too far. We need to save Thanksgiving Day. We encourage people to unify with us in this effort by taking the following steps: Write or email you governor encouraging them to declare and protect Thanksgiving as a holiday for retail workers; write or email your congressmen and senators to pass a bill that prohibits retail employers from making their employees work before 5 a.m. on Friday morning; write or email the corporate offices of the stores who are going to be open on Thanksgiving Day; and shop after 5 a.m. on Friday morning, otherwise you are supporting the retail corporations who’ve decided to make their employees miss out on their families’ Thanksgiving Day plans.
Carol Ann Abbett