Kmart recently announced that, unlike other retailers, it won't close on Thanksgiving or simply open for a few hours on Thursday afternoon--it's asking workers to give up the holiday entirely. Kmart is planning to open up stores at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and stay open for 41 hours straight.
Thanksgiving isn't just the day before holiday shopping begins. It's a day when most Americans gather together with friends and family and give thanks -- some traveling thousands of miles just to celebrate the day with loved ones.
Traditionally, most businesses have respected their workers and closed their doors for the day, or at least allowed employees to take a few hours off to enjoy an afternoon or evening meal with family. Businesses which choose to stay open often allow workers to choose if they want to work on the holiday. But Kmart doesn't respect workers enough to even give them that choice.
In the midst of a nationwide groundswell of workers organizing for fair wages and better treatment at fast-food restaurants and retail stores, now is the perfect time to spotlight Kmart's treatment of its workers. Let's have those workers' backs and build public pressure on Kmart's parent company, Sears Holdings, which has struggled financially and can't afford to lose customers to other stores over the holidays.
Will you stand with me and demand that the CEO of Kmart's parent company, Sears Holdings, cancel Kmart's plans to disrespect employees by strong-arming them into spending much of Thanksgiving away from their families?
You can click the headline to sign the petition.
Since the early 1980’s, the American worker has been under assault. The economy created by Republican Ronald Reagan hurt poor people first. And because of this, many people didn’t notice. Minimum wage stayed the same from 1980 to 1990. Even after Reagan was no longer in office, his Republican minions have carried on what he began.
The article in the link takes a good look at what life is like in the real world for many people in this 21st century economy.
"At $10 an hour you’d have to work 1,250 hours to cover the UW’s $12,500 tuition (more, once you take out taxes). In a 12-week summer, that’s more than 100 hours a week.
What really made me feel ancient is that the 1981 UW student guide shows the Med school charged only $1,029 a year back then. Today: $28,040!
Now, I didn’t go to the UW. But I’m going down Husky memory lane because last week The Seattle Times featured a crop of harried UW students looking rueful and broke. The story said skeptical state legislators often say how “they worked their way through college. And then they ask: Why don’t students do that today?”
Of all our delusions, we old farts cling to this bootstrap one the most. We worked our way up on sweat and chicken grease, we say. Can’t this generation? What’s wrong with them?
What’s wrong is that after we got ours, we cut it off for them.
The reason a summer at KFC could pay for a year of UW med school in 1981 isn’t that we were so hardworking and industrious. It’s that taxpayers back then picked up 90 percent of the tab. We weren’t Horatio Algers. We were socialists.
Today, the public picks up only 30 percent of UW tuition, and dropping."
Another thing to consider is that in Jan. 1981, the minimum wage was raised to $3.35 and stayed that way until April 1990 when it was raised to $3.80. The minimum wage didn’t go up ONE PENNY during the Reagan years. And when it finally did go up, it was less than a 50 cent raise after over nine years.
The hole that we’re in today is so deep because it’s been being dug for over 30 years. The Republicans would gladly cover us up in this deep hole and let us die, but they need someone to clean the bathrooms, cook the food and fight the wars.