Each year, it seems to get earlier and earlier. This year, many big box retailers are starting their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day at 8 pm to get a few steps in front of the competition.
Thanksgiving is a holiday that all Americans share – regardless of where we come from, our religion, our political party or where we live. It is a time for families to sit down together and take a well deserved break from the daily grind. This year, following the destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy, it is especially needful to have this time.
Yet, stores like Walmart have other plans for their employees. While the profit margin will show little gain on this day, employees will still be forced to leave their homes and show up for work, often hours before the stores are set to open. There will be little time for giving thanks.
Walmart is using its wealth, its power and its influence to try to silence the workers who do speak out for something different, something better. When these workers have spoken out, Walmart has lashed out and some have had their hours cut, their schedules turned upside down, and certain workers have even been fired.
That’s not right. It’s not fair. It’s not American to try to silence workers who are coming together to call for change. The company must end its attempts to silence workers. Walmart should meet with members of OUR Walmart to discuss their concerns.
Walmart has a responsibility as the country’s largest employer to create good jobs. And the company must do more to increase hours and provide better benefits for workers.
The courage of the OUR Walmart members who are standing up for their rights is an inspiration. Long Islanders should be joining their call for action on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, and in the days leading up to it. This year, perhaps more than ever, is a time to say “No” to the big boxes which demonstrate little concern for our communities and neighbors and “Yes” to those with whom we live and work. On Black Friday, why not spend your time on Main Street?