6 Outrageously Greedy Companies That Make Scrooge Look Like a Softie
Photo Credit: shutterstock.com
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
Ebeneezer Scrooge knew how a greedy capitalist deals with workers during the holiday season: Consider yourself cheated when they take a day off with pay to celebrate with their families.
But the old miser is bit too soft for many of today’s corporate titans. A day off with pay? Bah, humbug! Across America, workers are faced with no paid holidays at all or “encouraged” to work on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some get paid extra, some don’t. Unless you have a union contract or work for the federal government, Thanksgiving and Christmas may just be another day on the job.
While Scrooge was forced to bow to Victorian norms and give his employees Christmas Day off with pay, American law does not require such generosity. In fact, the U.S. is a world leader in least generous holiday arrangements.
American misers don’t stop there: From paying starvation wages to abandoning victims of factory disasters, there is no action too heartless for some of our best-known companies. Here are some of the brands offering “season’s beatings” to hard-working people.
Several stores on this list will be open on Thanksgiving, but Kmart has outdone them all by announcing it will be open 41 hours straight, starting at the obscene hour of 6am on Thanksgiving Day.
According to Kmart spokeswoman Shanelle Armstrong, the company is doing workers a favor, informing the Huffington Post that "We staff with teams & seasonal associates when possible, giving them the opportunity to make extra money during holiday."
Many customers obviously can’t appreciate such generosity, leaving irate messages on Kmart’s Facebook page like these:
“Hey Kmart! Because of you being Open on Thanksgiving and totally disrespecting your employees, Our Family will never spend a $ in your store!”
"I refuse to shop at a store that makes employees work on Thanksgiving so you can earn a buck this store among others takes the fun out of shopping on black Friday.”
Around the country, Kmart’s full-time employees report being pressured to work over holidays, despite the company’s claim of using seasonal and temp workers.
McDonald’s, never one to shy away from screwing employees, recently found itself caught up in a blizzard of negative PR for putting its business principles into writing in the form of a list of holiday budget tips for its workers, whose pay averages $8 per hour. (This just months after a stunningly McStupid employee budget guide that allowed zero dollars for heat and $20 for healthcare.)
The company has some money advice that would make Scrooge giddy. Facing debt? Try returning some of your presents and selling off possessions on eBay. Need to make a purchase? Go to a thrift shop instead of the mall. Feeling depressed? “Try to avoid using shopping as a pick-me-up or as a way to relieve boredom.”
McDonald’s concluded with a cheery holiday message for workers who live below the poverty line: “Financial security is something we all dream of. You can make this dream a reality with a little hard work and a lot of dedication.”
Thanks, McDonald's. Could we at least have fries with that?
With an Ayn Rand-worshipping libertarian at the helm (financier Eddie Lampert), it’s no wonder Sears has become the poster child of worker misery (Sears Holdings also now owns Kmart). When he took over Sears in January 2013, Lampert rolled up his sleeves, turning the company into a giant Randian experiment where workers were pitted against each other until the venerable retailer descended into a chaos of screaming matches and infighting.