Walmart Workers Threaten to Strike on Black Friday, One of the Biggest Days of the Year

The country's biggest retailer may be in for a blackout on black Friday.

November 19, 2012, 8:55 AM

Nov. 19, 2012 — -- While bargain-hunting shoppers gear up this week for Black Friday, Walmart, the country's largest retailer, may be in for a blackout on one of the biggest shopping days of the year.

Walmart workers at 1,000 locations across the U.S. said they're angry that Walmart stores are opening at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and that they plan to strike to protest this holiday opening. In such cities as Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Milwaukee and Los Angeles, workers could begin striking as early as today.

"We're just demanding respect," said Rosetta Brown, a Walmart employee.

Walmart said that 1 million associates would be working throughout the holiday weekend. "This is the Super Bowl for retailers and we're ready," Kory Lundberg, director of National Media Relations for Walmart, wrote in an email to "We've been working on our Black Friday plans for almost a year now, and we're prepared to have a great event. We respect the rights of our associates to express their views but if they are scheduled to work, we expect them to show up and do their job."

Other retailers are also opening some stores on Thanksgiving Day. Target, for one, is opening to the public at 9 p.m. for its Black Friday sale. Sears will also open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving, moved up from 4 a.m. on Black Friday last year. Kmart will be open Thanksgiving Day 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., then it will close and reopen at 8 p.m. Macy's, Kohl's and Best Buy open at midnight.

Meanwhile, Best Buy employees are firing up for the big day with training drills.

"This is what I live for," one salesperson told ABC News. "This is what I love to do."

In states like Wisconsin, California and Florida, shoppers have already started camping out, and some are even planning to eat Thanksgiving dinner while waiting in line.

"Mom comes out with the china and plates, and we have everything you'd have on a Thanksgiving table," one shopper said.

These early birds are ready to pounce on door-busting deals on the hottest holiday products from $78 flat-screen TVs at Walmart to $100 digital cameras at Target.

"Electronics are going to be huge again," retail expert Michelle Madhok told ABC News. "There's the iPad mini that everybody wants, the iPhone 5 and for the kids there's the Leap Pad 2, which is like an iPad for kids."

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