Target Employee Launches Campaign to Save Thanksgiving

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Popular campaign on Change.org calls on Target Corporation to allow workers to spend holiday with family, stay closed on Thanksgiving Day

"We don’t mind hard work, but cutting into our holidays is a step too far." Anthony Hardwick, Target parking attendant calling on the company to remain closed on Thanksgiving.

Thousands of people have joined a popular campaign on Change.org calling on the retailer Target to reverse its decision to open its doors on Thanksgiving Day and allow workers to spend the holiday with family.

The surging campaign on Change.org was launched by Anthony Hardwick, a Target employee of three years in Omaha, Nebraska, following news that the company’s management had moved the standard “Black Friday” opening time up from 5am on Friday to midnight on Thanksgiving. The new opening time will require employees to arrive at work no later than 11pm on Thanksgiving Day.

“All Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones on Thanksgiving,” said Hardwick, who works as a part-time parking attendant at a Target store in Omaha. “With the midnight opening, employees like myself will have to leave for work right in the middle of Thanksgiving Dinner. We don’t mind hard work, but cutting into our holidays is a step too far.”

Target, Macy’s, Best Buy and Kohl’s all plan to open at midnight on Thanksgiving, and Wal-Mart will go even further, with a 10 p.m. Thanksgiving start.

“What this Target employee has accomplished in just a few days is remarkable,” said Change.org Director of Organizing Jess Kutch. “With no budget and armed with only a laptop, in one weekend Anthony Hardwick has managed to recruit thousands of supporters from across the country. Change.org is about empowering anyone, anywhere to demand action on the issues that matter to them - and it has been incredible to watch Anthony Hardwick’s campaign take off.”

Many major retailers are choosing to remain closed on Thanksgiving Day, citing their employees’ right to a holiday.

“We wanted to give our associates Thanksgiving Day to spend with their families," said Bill Gentner, senior vice president for marketing at J.C. Penney, in an interview with the New York Times.

Live signature totals from Anthony Hardwick’s campaign:
http://www.change.org/petitions/target-corporation-push-back-the-opening-of-target-retail-stores-on-black-friday-to-5am

New York Times coverage of the campaign:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/11/business/some-consumers-object-to-sales-on-thanksgiving.html

ABC News coverage of the campaign:
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/business/2011/11/black-thursday-stores-opening-doors-on-thanksgiving-day/

For more information on Change.org, please visit:
http://www.change.org/about
Change.org is the world’s fastest-growing platform for social change — growing by more than 400,000 new members a month, and empowering millions of people to start, join, and win campaigns for social change in their community, city and country.

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Charlotte Hill
Change.org
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