‘Come to work on Thanksgiving or get fired’

Kmart - store team photo (20.11.2014)

If this keeps up, I won’t have anyplace left to shop!

Kmart will open its doors at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day this year and remain open for 42 hours, meaning that many employees will have to come to work to staff shifts. While the company says it tries to fill the slots with volunteers or seasonal hires, workers are reporting that the reality on the ground is very different.

Jillian Fisher, who started a petition on Coworker.org asking Kmart to give her mother and other employees the flexibility to take the holiday off, surveyed 56 self-identified employees from more than 13 states. Of those, just three said they had the option to ask to take the holiday off. In a press release from the petition organizer, one employee said human resources has told them, “if you do not come to work on Thanksgiving, you will automatically be fired… I made the request to work a split shift on Thanksgiving and was denied.” Another said, “Our manager stated at a staff meeting: ‘Everyone must work Thanksgiving and Black Friday. No time off.’” At one location, an employee says signs have been posted in the break room saying workers can’t request time off on Thanksgiving or Black Friday and that everyone has to put in at least some time on both, while at another signs have been posted saying no one can request time off between November 15 and January 1.

“I am a lead at a Kmart and it is mandatory for me to work on Thanksgiving,” another employee said. “If I were to call out I would be terminated, and requesting off is not allowed.”

Only seven surveyed employees said their stores had given employees the chance to volunteer for a holiday shift. “[A]t my store, they scheduled workers who aren’t seasonal and who DIDN’T volunteer to work on Thanksgiving,” one said. Another said, “I didn’t volunteer to work on either of these days they just pretty much scheduled me regardless if I had plans or not on Thanksgiving.”

2 thoughts on “‘Come to work on Thanksgiving or get fired’

  1. In my world next Thursday is not a day of “thanksgiving” but one of mourning, and I would be perfectly happy to sell cheap plastic shit to stupid white dogs while laughing in my fist at their “superiority”.

  2. So you’re not a big Thanksgiving fan Ten Bears? How about Columbus Day, does that do anything for you? You do make a good point though. The “stupid white dogs” aren’t all that into celebrating Kwanzaa either. 🙂 That stuff aside, isn’t it interesting that the federal government doesn’t mandate that any holiday be celebrated. Not even the 4th of July. We should have at least 6 federally mandated paid holidays in this country. Maybe the first Monday of every other month? We could call them the 1st Day of Rest, the 2nd Day of Rest, and so on. If you’re forced to work that day you’d be entitled to double pay.

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