A quirk in the calendar, shortening the stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas by six days this year, is¬†making retailers anxious¬†about the upcoming holiday shopping season. Even as retailers have been starting the sales season earlier and earlier, an unprecedented Black Friday "creep" this year has some big box retail employees pushing back.
Walmart is among a number of retailers who will¬†open on Thanksgiving, and the retailer will begin its Black Friday deals at 6 p.m. on Thursday. The decision has led several people to¬†take to the Internet¬†- and the streets -¬†in protest.
Last week, Walmart protests in California led to the arrest of more than 50 Walmart workers and supporters in downtown Los Angeles, the¬†largest civil disobedience case¬†in the company's history.
Then this past Wednesday, Walmart workers from three separate stores in the Chicago area went on strike over the retailer's low wages, unpredictable hours and unjust retaliation against workers.
Striking over the retailer's low wages, unpredictable hours and unjust retaliation against workers.
Richard Wilson, a 27-year-old lead associate at a Walmart in Chicago, was among those who walked off the job. He told Huffington Post he has worked for Walmart for two years and earns roughly $12,000 a year for around 32 hours of work a week. He said he would like to work more and make a living wage, but Walmart's unpredictable scheduling makes it difficult for him to consistently get more hours.
Some of the protestors are involved in the "OUR Walmart" movement. The campaign unveiled¬†a new website on which Walmart workers can share stories, request that protests be staged at their store, and send a petition to President Obama who has pledged to "stand up for working people."
Walmart reportedly fired 20 workers who participated in a work stoppage caravan to protest at Walmart's summer shareholder meeting. The company said at the time it has a strict anti-retaliation policy, but that it does enforce employee attendance policies.
Asked about the brewing Black Friday protest escalation, Walmart spokesperson Brooke Buchanan told Salon¬†the company was ‚Äúreally focused on serving our customers, and giving our customers and our associates the best holiday ever.‚ÄĚ