(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Macy’s Joining Wal-Mart on Thanksgiving Energizes Labor

Macy’s Inc. (M), whose annual Manhattan Parade is a cherished Thanksgiving tradition for millions, is starting a new holiday ritual: It’s asking its employees to show up for work.

Pressured by competition, a shorter shopping season and lackluster consumer spending, at least a dozen U.S. mega-retailers are opening for the first time on Thanksgiving Day,such as Macy’s, or opening earlier that day than in previous years. They are following Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT), the largest U.S.employer, which has been open for business on Thanksgiving for more than 25 years.

“Another holiday bites the dust in favor of retailers,”Candace Corlett, president of New York consulting firm WSL Strategic Retail, said in a Nov. 12 phone interview. “Our Culture now is to shop, and to get the best deals. Thanksgiving As a day of rest was another culture, another time, not today.”

The expansion of hours will take more than a million employees away from their families during the holiday. Organized Labor has been encouraging low-wage employees to join unions foryears to stem membership losses, and now wants to use the Thanksgiving hours to encourage workers to band together to improve working conditions.

“It plays into the larger themes that we’ve been pushing around low-wage workers who don’t have a lot of job security,”Amaya Smith, a spokeswoman for the AFL-CIO, said in an interview. “Thanksgiving, Black Friday is one example of one holiday...
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