Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest sales conglomerate, is surely packed all over the country today, seeing as its Black Friday. According to NBC News, however; there are some workers who are planning a protest of the company’s way of doing business by forcing employees to leave their families on Thanksgiving eve and prepare for the insanity of sales specials currently going on. What exactly does this mean for the enormous chain-store and its workers and will you still be able to get a plasma television for twenty bucks should your local Wal-Mart suffer a work stoppage?
While a protest could certainly spell disaster in terms of PR for the company (who have received media criticism in the past for a myriad of issues), the other issue then becomes whether or not the workers at Wal-Mart are powerful enough to demand better working conditions, a common complaint over the years. The site Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Unions brings to light the very human side of the protest, with Valley Stream Wal-Mart workers stating “Today, we stand in solidarity with Walmart workers throughout the country who are calling on the retailer to end its illegal practice of retaliating against employees,” Stephanie Yazgi, spokesperson for Wa-Mart Free NYC told the site.
“The real impact is what it adds up to is Wal-Mart’s public perception and how that reverberates in a variety of ways,” Paul Osterman, professor of human resources and management at MIT told NBC News. The important aspect of what those on strike are trying to do could have a monumental effect on how retail outlets do business come Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales, “It may force the retail sector to re-think their Black Friday/Thanksgiving openings,” Osterman stated.
Thanksgiving already seems like a skipped-over holiday. Seemingly, stores begin stocking for Christmas weeks before Halloween, with no regard for Thanksgiving. It’s a sad statement on the consumerism of modern America and the holiday season in general.