Star Tribune to Target Employee Forced to Work on Thanksgiving: "Buck up, Take This Job and Be Grateful"

If you need a shocking example that the mainstream media is irrelevant, here is an easy one: The brilliant editorial staff at the Star Tribune responded to Anthony Harding's petition to get Target and other stores to push back their ridiculous 12am Black Friday openings to 5am, (so that employees can have a Thanksgiving that does not require them to return to work by 11pm) with this

Two words for Anthony Hardwick: Buck up.

He’s the Target employee from Omaha who led a petition drive to stop the retail giant from opening its doors at midnight on Black Friday. Don’t impinge on workers’ Thanksgiving celebrations, he said.

Hardwick’s intentions are good, but when nearly 14 million Americans are unemployed, complaining about work hours is grossly self-indulgent.

He, a Target employee who wants to go to work at 5 am the day after Thanksgiving, is  grossly self-indulgent? Not the CEOs making bank and paying their employees minimum wage to stock shelves on Thanksgiving? 

Well, according to the Star Tribune:

Many unemployed workers would love a steady paycheck to stave off a home foreclosure or, in the most desperate cases, to cover the cost of Thanksgiving dinner.

Yes, unemployed Americans are dying to work at Target on Thanksgiving. And what about the 16 percentof Americans who are underemployed, many of whom are working at stores like Target for minimal pay and, apparently, no real Holidays?

According the Star Tribune:

One of the ironies in the petition drive is that consumer demand is what’s needed to pull the nation out of the doldrums — whether that demand comes at midnight or 8 a.m.

More than 190,000 people from around the nation signed Hardwick’s petition to save Thanksgiving for Target workers. But if a worthwhile number of American consumers want to line up in the middle of the night to get a bargain on a flat-screen TV, the retailer would be foolish to lose the sales.

But the retailer and the Target employee are quite obviously not the same. Standing at a cash register at Target and bagging tons of stuff for hyperactive parents totally stoked on Christmas sales will not get you significantly more paid than working on a normal day at a normal hour, or even at 5 am, which is still ridiculously early. The retailer makes bank; the employee misses Thanksgiving.  

But as the Star Tribune said: 

So please, protesting retail workers, stop whining about having to work holiday hours.

Be grateful to have a job.

No, Star Tribune, stop whining about protesters, and do your job. What we need is not less whining, but more jobs - jobs with good pay and benefits that treat employees with respect. You can sign Hardwick's petition for economic justice here.

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at November 22, 2011, 12:18pm

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