As of early November 2015, Kmart employees like my mom still don’t know if they will be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families.
For Thanksgiving this year, I’m asking Kmart’s leadership to show thanks to its employees by doing the following:
1) Tell employees the chain’s Thanksgiving hours NOW;
2) Rely on employee volunteers to staff any Thanksgiving Day shifts;
3) Give employees two weeks notice of their schedules for Thanksgiving and Black Friday and don't change schedules last minute.
Why is this important?
For several years in a row now, my mom -- a Kmart employee -- has missed out moments from our family’s Thanksgiving Day traditions like so many other retail workers across the country. While some retailers are reversing this trend in 2015, we’re guessing that allowing employees to celebrate Thanksgiving Day as family holiday is a thing of the past for Kmart workers and their families.
Last year, thousands of Kmart employees and their supporters joined my campaign to allow employees to have Thanksgiving Day off. We heard from dozens of other Kmart employees that while the company said they would rely on employees who volunteered to work on Thanksgiving, but that was often not the case. What’s more: many employees didn’t even know when they were scheduled to work until the last minute.
It’s already the beginning of November and Kmart has yet to announce their Thanksgiving day hours, and employees like my mom do not know what to expect for the upcoming holiday schedule. This makes planning for the holidays even more difficult for workers and the family and friends in their lives. While some employees have heard that the company will try to rely on volunteers, it’s unclear if that will really be the case in the end. Without knowing the store hours, it is impossible to tell.
Kmart can at least make planning and enjoying the very limited time families spread across the country get to spend together easier by letting employees know right away when they will be expected to work; by relying on those employees who volunteer to work on Thanksgiving to earn extra pay; and by committing to not make last minute changes that wreak havoc on retail workers’ lives.