Staples, Medieval Times Workers Say Opening Thanksgiving Day Crosses the Line

However, if he is asked to work on Thanksgiving Day, Lewis, who said he enjoys his job, said he will show up to work.

"But I respectfully acknowledge my dissatisfaction," Lewis said.

Patricia Stumpff, 61, in Dayton, Ohio, has worked at Target for six years. She said she is disappointed that Target is opening an hour earlier on Thanksgiving this year.

She wrote a letter to Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel two years ago, and another letter to executives this past Saturday. Two weeks ago, she started a petition on Change.org that has over 47,000 signatures.

"My anger about this issue has increased year after year as Target and other retail stores have moved up the opening time for 'Black Friday' from 6 a.m. to 4 a.m., to midnight, to 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, and now it appears that it will be 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Day," Stumpff wrote in the letter she mailed this past weekend.

Stumpff acknowledged that some retailers, such as Michaels Arts and Crafts, open up even earlier, sometimes at 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, while other retailers may even stay open all of Thanksgiving Day. But she said Target in particular is "hypocritical" in its messaging to employees.

"A night or two ago, I saw a holiday ad for Target on TV," Stumpff wrote. "In the commercial they show scenes of a turkey dinner and people celebrating Christmas traditions and then someone says 'Everyone at the Table -- #MyKindOfHoliday.' How hypocritical to advertise that 'My Kind of Holiday' is to have everyone at the table and then to open up on the National Holiday of Thanksgiving and force employees, their families and friends, as well as compulsive shoppers, to miss out on holiday dinners with their own families!!"

Molly Snyder, a spokeswoman for Target, said in a statement, "We respect the right of all of our team members and guests to express their opinions. We encourage our team members to speak directly with their team leadership to work together to address any concerns they may have."

Stumpff wonders if the lines are blurred when Target management says employees can volunteer for work.

"That may or may not be true, but Target is setting a bad example and a precedent for other companies to open up who do force their employees to work the holidays," she wrote.

There are steps some companies are taking to soften the blow for employees working on the holidays.

With Walmart stores opening at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, workers will be eligible to receive holiday pay, which is pay equivalent to the average of the number of hours worked for the previous two weeks, in addition to their typical wages. They also will receive a 25 percent discount on items they purchase. The company will also feed them Thanksgiving dinner at work.

The company explains that most Walmart stores are open 24 hours, 7 days a week, so they have been open on Thanksgiving for years.

"Walmart associates are really excited to work that day," said Duncan Mac Naughton, executive vice president, chief merchandising and marketing officer for Walmart U.S. on a conference call on Thursday to discuss the company's holiday plans. "It's a pretty high energy day for associates as well."

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