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Target Employees Protest Store’s Extended Black Friday Hours

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COCKEYSVILLE, Md. (WJZ)– More than 100,000 people are taking  a stand against one of the nation’s biggest retailers. Target employees say their Thanksgiving will be ruined because of the store’s Black Friday hours.

Weijia Jiang has details on the petition and reaction from local customers.

Target is now a bull’s-eye for Black Friday backlash after executives announced it would open at midnight instead of the usual 5 or 6 a.m.

“If we’re going to be rested for this, we’re going to need to go to bed at 1 or 2 in the afternoon,” Anthony Hardwick, a Target employee, said.

Having to do that on a holiday upset Hardwick, a part-time employee. So, he started an online petition to– in his words– save Thanksgiving.

More than 100,000 people are backing him up.

“If we lose Thanksgiving as another holiday shopping day, are we going to start looking at Christmas with hungry eyes next?” he said.

But despite the petition, it appears Target is not going to budge. A spokesperson issued a statement to WJZ to say: “We have heard from our guests that they want to shop Target following their Thanksgiving celebrations rather than only having the option of getting up in the middle of the night. By opening at midnight, we are making it easier than ever to deliver on our guests’ wants and needs.”

“If that’s the way they can beat competition, that’s what they should do,” said Lauren Aguilar, a Target customer in Baltimore, said. “I’d be there at 10 Thursday night rather than 4 o’clock in the morning.”

And someone has to ring them all up.

“You get paid for it, so why you complaining?” Deaisha Nixon, another Target customer, said. “It’s a recession. A lot of people are without jobs today.”

“But it’s also important to remember why you’re working,” Hardwick said. “You work so you can live. You don’t live so you can work and my family is what I live for.”

The Target spokesperson also says they’re trying to schedule around employees’ requests to have Thanksgiving off. And those who end up working will receive holiday pay.

Several other stores are also opening at midnight on Black Friday, including Macy’s and Best Buy. Toys R’ Us is opening at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

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