Drawing by Jackson Gilvar
Should employees be forced to work during the holidays?
November 17, 2015
Companies should remain open on holidays
With Thanksgiving approaching, the annual debate of whether stores should be open certain days during the holiday season comes into question yet again. Black Friday sales, day after Christmas sales and Christmas movie showings all generate an exorbitant amount of money in an extremely short time span. Looking solely at the controversial topic from an economic standpoint, it makes perfect sense that these stores should stay open on national and worldwide holidays. For those hard working Americans who work the holidays, stores staying open allows for them to make more money by working an extra few days out of the year. Walmart is always one of the big companies that promotes sales and “layaway” savings for the holiday season. In 2012 they reported their best Black Friday to date, crediting their 1.3 million workers in making the lives of “22 million shoppers” happier and easier for the day, as said in a statement by Walmart CEO Bill Simon on the Walmart website. The dolls, televisions and bicycles purchased throughout the day no doubt boosted the company’s wealth, even if only temporary. Without over a million workers to assist customers, not nearly as many goods would be sold, harming certain companies that receive the biggest economic boost on days like Black Friday. For many Americans, the sales that present themselves on holidays make certain items very inexpensive, making it the only day out of the “holiday season” that many families can afford to buy presents.
Though some will say that the stores like Crate & Barrel and Marshalls are more “family friendly” for allowing their employees to stay home with their loved ones for Thanksgiving, the stores like KMart and Walmart that stay open may take some away from family, but ensure that other families that may not be as “well off” financially can still allow for a happy holiday season full of presents. Aside from the economics for why these stores should stay open, benefiting the companies that rake in more money than any other regular day, and consumers who save more money than usual, one should look at the “social” aspect of these working holidays. Stores being open is no different than bars or the movies being open, as pointed out by the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board. Many people find the holidays to be hectic surrounded by loved ones at all times, with some people “needing an escape from families.”. Even if one’s argument stems from a “family-friendly” take on why stores should not be open on holidays, the benefits for consumers and companies alike is too great to ignore. If someone needs to buy an inexpensive gift and get away from his or her family for an hour or two, these stores being open allows for just that.
Companies should close during holidays
This Thanksgiving, workers will be expected to work day and night to help with the Black Friday sales the next day. The workers do not want to leave their families so they do not get fired from their jobs. It’s a time when people give back and spend time with family members they haven’t seen in a long time so they can reconnect. The reason retailers have Black Friday Is to have sales so the business can do better. Retailers should wait till Black Friday to keep the stores open longer than a normal day. Nowadays, business owners only care about the money and how much their business succeeds. Also, some workers do not get paid extra even if they are getting paid minimum wage on a normal day. Staff should not be expected to work on the holidays because they need family time, a break from work, and workers deserve the right to family time without risking losing their jobs. Why should they be expected to work when there is family at home wishing they were with them? They shouldn’t.
If workers do not get paid extra, or have less hours to work on Thanksgiving, they shouldn’t have to work if they do not want to. Instead of being expected, they should have the day off. It would be a totally different story if they got to pick the hours they work on this holiday. It’s not going to make a difference if a store is going to be open an extra day. If a customer wants to buy something on Thanksgiving, they can buy it the next day on Black Friday when the store is open with sales. They are expected to work all day on a family holiday, and not say anything about it? They have a voice and a right to say their opinion. For example, what if a family relative comes from across the world for Thanksgiving but they are at work? They can’t leave because then they can get fired. They are pretty much stuck either way. On Thanksgiving, workers should not be expected to work. This country needs to focus more on the values and the happiness of the workers instead of the money.