Target Employees Protest Store’s Extended Black Friday Hours

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.

  • Get Real

    yousefthe giant, that’s a horrible thing to say about your mother, her brother and his kids!

  • charmcitymom

    These employees are 100% right.
    Fellow Americans, let’s stop spending our time spending’money!
    Spend time with family instead.

    How much more ‘stuff’ do we need, people.

  • holiday shopper

    I won’t be stepping foot in a store on Thanksgiving night. Friday is soon enough to shop. Whatever became of time with your family and friends and leaving the shopping for early friday.

  • To bad so sad

    Well it’s that time of year and this comes with the territory….amazing what people complain about today, maybe you should be thankful you have a job!!!!! If not quit the dumbocrats will give you a welfare check!!!

    • Matt

      shouldnt we be thankful you have a family first?

      • Christian B

        Then quit your JOb and Feed your family with love see how that works fo you

  • Deborah Hileman

    Seeing on how bad this economy is doing…If these people who want to sign this petition don’t want to work…FINE GET QUIT….There are to many people out of work right now struggling to make ends meet that would be thankful for working…EVEN IF IT MEANS A HOLIDAY…

    • good grief

      “Quit” isn’t a noun. You can’t get quit or say hi to quit or jump up and down on the quit. Quit is a verb.

      • OOPS

        Well after I sent it I found I couldn’t go back and edit it….Excuse me for not seeing it until AFTER I clicked submit.

  • money hungry stores

    I think it’s ashame that store have to open on a holiday when most people spend it with their families. I have family coming from out of town and we have no plans to shop on Thanksgiving. We are all Ravens fans so we will be watching the game that night. The stores can wait until Friday. They are money hungry.

  • cHARMcity

    well I work at Johns Hopkins… can I kick these patients out and enjoy my holiday.. NO!!! quit whining…. get paid..

  • chalkie

    Its ashame how big companies have become so greedy for every penny they can make. Thanksgiving is a holiday that I enjoy. I think its terrible to go out just after halloween and see christmas stuff up in stores. I like when I was a kid each holliday had its own special thing and christmas shopping didn’t start to the day after thanksgiving. I have already seen houses decorated for christmas in my area. Sorry to say they take the fun out of thanksgiving and christmas for me by the way companies treat the holidays.

  • Buffalo Soldier

    It’s call greed.

    • Christian B

      No it’s called making a living and creating jobs.

  • Kyle Bolyard

    Yes, I 100% agree that the store should open sometime over night, 4am or after. I LOVE Black Friday and was always excited to get up and stand in line to get the good deals in the early morning, so I wish all the stores would go back to how they used to be with early morning openings. On the other hand, I cannot blame Target. Their major competition is opeining at or before midnight (Walmart) and I believe K-Mart is still open on Thanksgiving day. WIth that said, if they want to get their own business and compete they have to do this, but like I said, ALL the stores should go back to their regular early openings, it really is taking the “FUN” out of the whole experience. (I know too many people wouldn’t call it fun, but I do). The other reason I’m mad about the midnight openings…..The Ravens game won’t be over until about midnight, so by time I get out of the stadium and to one of the stores, it will be well after midnight and the whole Black Friday savings thing is out the window….Very disappointing……

  • Elizabeth Barnhart

    Personally I saw so many fights last year Its to the point where its not even SAFE to go on black Friday anyway. So STAY home and then the stores wont have a reason to open :)

  • Happy2Bretired

    Stores make the decisions and employees either abide by them or find another job. Enough said!

  • Michael

    I worked in a mall for 10 years, and as much as I can share sympathy with the workers, when you think about working in retail, especially during the holiday season, this is one of the things you have to expect and consider. I have been out of work for almost a year and would love to have this problem to worry about. I missed MANY family events, holidays and other special times because of my retail hours and career, and I just accepted it.

  • Cathy

    I agree,these employeess need to be thankfull they have a job,I have been out for 7 monthsmthe ones that are complaining better watch they have a job after this,they are told hrs and what is expected during holidays,I used to work for retail yrs ago and I love it especially around the holidays,I wish I had a job so I could afford amd enjoy it more

  • Retail girl

    I work for Target and when they announced that we were opening at midnight instead of our 4am opening I admit I was a little bummed. BUT working in retail I know that this is part of the territory. If the one that started the petition is NOT happy about this then he should just quit. NOONE is MAKING him work there. Target does compensate us for this and they actually treat us well. They ensure that the team members are fed and thanked for there help. I am sure that in this economy Target would have no problem finding someone else to work. After this HE may NOT have a job anymore anyway

  • Jeanie Coolahan

    GREED……….that’s what it’s all about folks. It’s not to help the customer out by having additional hours, it’s about helping the store out by making more $$$$$$$$$.
    I hope everyone boycotts all the stores that are open on Thanksgiving Day.

  • SallyG

    Sometimes it comes with the territory of a job…my husband is a chef and works on Thanksgiving and all holidays. It sucks, but that’s the job. I totally sympathize with the Target workers, though. My husband and I don’t have the money for gifts…we haven’t for the past few years since this financial mess began. We celebrate the holiday with a nice meal and spend time with family (when he does get home). We used to have piles of gifts by the tree. However, what we have realized is how little the gifts mean…it’s still Christmas without them…still a time to spend with family. And we are amazed by the people who go into debt to shower everyone with gifts they can’t afford! Children don’t need piles of gifts under a tree…do you think people during the depression did that? We are in the same situation now and yet people keep spending, going into debt, and stampeding like wild cattle over material items. Sad. Give your children a few gifts that they really want…kids are smart enough to understand that times are tough…and let Christmas be Christmas instead of a rat race to BUY, BUY, BUY!

  • Malone

    This is what happens without a union…

  • George Harman

    Now they are blocking my facebook post in order to supress the truth about their actions with PRESS+. DO NOT TRUST THE BALTIMORE SUN THEY LIE AND STEAL AND CENSOR THE TRUTH! The Baltimore Sun using Press+ has taken thousands of dollars from it’s readers who subscribed to the trial memberships and then cancelled. they said a computer glitch converted cancelled trial memberships into full subscriptions. They held the money for several days and made interst off the money and then said they would refund the money. I have yet to get a refund. If you subscribed to the trial membership and cancelled check your bank account or credit card used to make the purchase and you will see that I am telling the truth. I have emails to prove it from PRESS+, the organization used to handle their digital subscriptions. They said it wasn’t stealing, I guess if take moeny from your home and then return it a week later I guess I didn’t steal it. I am sure that would hold up in court. What a low class organization the Baltimroe Sun is stealing money from it’s loyal readers. Please spread this story accross the internet and new media sites. The Baltimroe Sun will steal money from you. BEWARE and do not sign up for a trial membership as they will steal your money.

    • JW

      George…..Go babble with your complaints somewhere else…what does it have to do with this article?

  • JW

    I bet theres a 1/2 dozen mexicans that won’t complain about working on the hoidays.

    Be Thankful you have a job!

  • Elle

    I enjoy that the Target peitioners are decrying their right to eat turkey and watch football. So, the concessionnaires, ticket takers, and cleaning people at the stadiums should work on the holiday for your enjoyment, but you shouldn’t work for shoppers’ enjoyment?
    If you are trying to “save Thanksgiving,” then it should be about families really sitting down together for a meal and converstion, unplugged. And, everyone should help. In many families, one person, often but not always a matriarch, works all day cooking and cleaning up. Where is his or her holiday?
    All I have to be thankful for this year is my job, even though it pays a lot less than my last one and I have to justify my existence on the payroll every day. I am working today and will be here all day tomorrow and some of the weekend in hopes of ensuring that I still have a job (or 2, I hope) to be thankful for next year.

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