More People Are Working On Thanksgiving

About 1 in 6 workers will be spending Thanksgiving Day at work, according to a recent survey. And more and more retailers are deciding to open store doors then too.


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If given a choice, chances are that not that many people want to be spending Thanksgiving day with co-workers.

“Ninety percent of people said that they would prefer to spend the day with their family.  Well another 9 percent would prefer to do nothing. So people are looking forward to have some down time.”

That’s Michael Erwin, a senior career advisor with  It’s only the second time that job search site did a Thanksgiving work survey. But the percentage of people finding themselves with co-workers on Thanksgiving is increasing slightly — by two percent.

“If you looked five years ago or even ten years ago, there were holidays such as Easter and Christmas and Thanksgiving, they were off and people didn’t have to go into their establishment. But now we’re finding, especially in the retail industry, people are having to go in.”

More and more retailers are opening on Thanksgiving Day, including Toys “R” Us, Sears and Target. 

The website had more than a hundred petitions on its site protesting retail workers working on Thanksgiving.  One petition started by a self-described Target worker had more than 360,000 signatures on Tuesday. 

Margaret Jelinek Lewis, from Meyerland, is one person who signed that petition.

“I really feel strongly that Thanksgiving is the one holiday that is truly an American holiday in the sense that families all gather, and I felt like all workers that can — should have the day off.”

Target’s website says when they decided to open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, it asked first for team members to volunteer to work. Whether or not those who didn’t want to work on Thanksgiving Day are working then is unclear. A third of their workers are set to work on the holiday, and those hourly workers will be getting paid at least time and a half. 

Lewis says she’s resolved not to go to Target — at least for some time.

“One thing that I said on the petition was that if Target felt that their business was so important that they were going to open on Thanksgiving Say, they would actually not get any business from me this holiday season.  I feel that strongly about it.”

KUHF tried to talk to some Target workers in the parking lot at some Houston-area stores, but no worker provided comment.

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