In this nation's continuing failure to heed the lessons of Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas, American retailers are planning on starting their Black Friday sales so early that their already put-upon employees will be forced to leave their family Thanksgiving celebrations so that they can tend to the snorting, ground-pawing masses eager to purchase their Christmas presents, ribbons, wrappings, tags, and tinsel, trimmings, and trappings. But employees of Wal Mart have had enough, and rather than beginning their Black Fridays at 8 pm on Thursday, they're walking out, thus ruining America's stampede-iest holiday for the sort of assholes who think lining up to spend money on exploitative crap is fun.
The Black Friday Wal Mart employee walk out has already begun; according to Bloomberg Businessweek, some employees in California and in the Seattle area began striking last week, and workers in 1,000 stores in Dallas, Minnesota, Chicago, Miami, Louisiana, Milwaukee, Oklahoma, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. are planning on walking out this week. Employees say that the extended Thanksgiving hours were announced with little warning and employees weren't allowed to opt out of working during the holiday-tromping shift.
Up until last week, Wal Mart officials responded to questions about the impending strike dismissively, accusing organizers of inflating the number of employees who feel put off by the chain's low, low wages and tendency to penalize employees who speak out as just a small number of shrieking rabble rousers trying to cause trouble. But on Friday, the retailer filed an unfair practices lawsuit against the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, accusing the organization of meddling in their business and unjustly turning their doting employees against them.
But Wal Mart's Black Friday stunt is far from the first time the company has shat on its hard working employees, many of whom are paid so little that they rely on government assistance in order to afford basic living expenses and health care. So, bottom line: Wal Mart relies on government aid to keep its $8-something per hour workers healthy and fed enough to continue working at Wal Mart. MIND BLOWING MOMENT: Wal Mart's low prices depend on paying their employees shit, and their ability to pay their employees shit depends on their employees receiving government assistance. Does that make Wal Mart a corporate welfare queen? CAPITALISM!!1!
Anyway, the Wal Mart walk out doesn't seem to be deterring excited shoppers from making a gross holiday out of shopping. From ABC,
In states like Wisconsin, California and Florida, shoppers have already started camping out, and some are even planning to eat Thanksgiving dinner while waiting in line.
"Mom comes out with the china and plates, and we have everything you'd have on a Thanksgiving table," one shopper said.
These early birds are ready to pounce on door-busting deals on the hottest holiday products from $78 flat-screen TVs at Walmart to $100 digital cameras at Target.
"Electronics are going to be huge again," retail expert Michelle Madhok told ABC News. "There's the iPad mini that everybody wants, the iPhone 5 and for the kids there's the Leap Pad 2, which is like an iPad for kids."
Screens! Screens for everybody! God Bless Us, Every Screen.
Regardless of your attitude toward unions, on a practical level, it might be a good idea to avoid your local Wal Mart this Black Friday. Unless you think the biggest shopping day of the year isn't clusterfucky enough.