Walmart, Target employees upset about working Thanksgiving Day

(WMC-TV) - Target and Walmart employees are protesting this Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The protests span from an online petition to the threats of walkouts.

Now, shoppers are now wondering if the protests will throw a monkey wrench in their plans on the busiest shopping day of the year.

Employee protests at the nation's top big box retailers have some Mid-South shoppers shifting schedules.

"That's why I'm here today to get my stuff, because when I come, they might not be here to check me out," said shopper Joyce Bodiford.

Hundreds of thousands of people signed a Target employees' online petition to ask Target not to start Black Friday at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

"I think they should be thankful for their jobs, but I think Thanksgiving is a family day," said Target shopper Audrey Bowling.

Tens of thousands also signed a similar petition against Walmart for planning to open at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union says Walmart workers are staging a Black Friday walkout over poor hours, benefits, and discrimination against women and people of color.

"I've always heard Walmart doesn't pay employees enough. They ought to be given some raises," said Walmart shopper Tony Clowers.

On Monday, Walmart fired back with a National Labor Relations Board complaint.

It said, "The reality is that there are only a handful of associates, at a handful of stores scattered across the country that are participating in these UFCW made for TV events…we expect them to show up and do their job. If they don't, depending on the circumstances, there could be consequences."

Target says, "All team members working on Thanksgiving and certain hours on Friday will receive additional pay. And we're taking extra steps to make sure we help maintain our team's health and well-being throughout their shifts."

Spokespeople at both corporate headquarters say the protests will not disrupt the Mid-South's busiest shopping day of the year.

"It wouldn't do anything to my Black Friday plans because I'm still going to be out here. There are other stores," said Bodiford.

Both Target and Walmart are scheduled to kick off Black Friday on Thanksgiving Day. Walmart will open at 8 p.m. Target will open at 9 p.m.

Click here to read the full statement from Walmart.

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