People who think that the owners of big business newspapers like the Star Tribune don’t take the side of big business should think again. A recent Star Tribune editorial suggested that Target workers who started a petition campaign to have the entire Thanksgiving Day off were just whiners.
The editorial ignored the public support that had been garnered for the workers, including a few hundred thousand who signed the petition. Strib editors suggested that the workers should “buck up” and “be grateful to have a job.”
I could hardly believe my eyes. The editorial was so raw and coarse that I could have mistaken the newspapers editorial board for Southern “straw bosses” or the unreformed Ebeneezer Scrooge. The overkill was uncalled for; after all, the workers just wanted a little more time with their families.
The Strib editorial was responding to a national petition drive that asked Target stores not to open at midnight and allow workers to spend the entire holiday with their families and not have to rest up for working this newly formed midnight shift.
According to the change.org petition, “A midnight opening robs the hourly and in-store salary workers of time off with their families on Thanksgiving Day. By opening the doors at midnight, Target is requiring team members to be in the store by 11 pm on Thanksgiving Day. A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation — all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night’s rest on Thanksgiving!”
And it’s important to note that the petition only asked that the Target stores revert to their original Black Friday opening time of 5 am.
I agree with one petition signer who wrote, “It’s a national holiday, not a national shopping day… Maybe try giving thanks for your employees that bring you so much money.”
But the Strib says that wanting to spend time with family at a time the whole nation has acknowledged as a family holiday is “self-indulgent.” The editorial even tried to tie the struggling economy to the necessity of stores opening at midnight.
Since the editorial was so coarse, let me respond in kind with plain language and say that is just crap and members of the editorial board are full of undigested leftover turkey.
The economy has tanked primarily because of the greed of the captains of industry and their bankster friends. Many corporations using the dollar as their only guide have left these shores for cheaper labor while crying crocodile tears for Americans and American workers.
The banksters cleaned our clock to the tune of $12 trillion. It was such a smooth crime that it takes pages and pages to explain how the thieves got away with their con. Just think of the jobs that could have been created with that kind of money.
Practically every mortgage in the U.S. could have been paid off with $2 trillion. Yet the Strib wants to scapegoat the workers. The Occupy folks have got it right: There has to be a more equitable distribution of the wealth. That’s what will right the economic wrongs in this country, not holiday shopping.
In a clumsy attempt to confuse what was being demanded, the Strib claimed that “many unemployed workers would love a steady paycheck to stave off a home foreclosure or, in the most desperate cases, to cover the cost of Thanksgiving dinner.” The problem with that statement is that the Target workers were not walking away from their jobs, nor were they complaining about their work, but were merely asking for a few hours reprieve.
It’s not true that a steady paycheck is enough to stave off foreclosure. The Strib editors should be ashamed of themselves for spreading such baseless prevarications. Many folks have tried to renegotiate adjustable-rate mortgages that they were tricked into signing onto.
And it’s common knowledge — the Strib has even reported it — that some homeowners who got behind because of lost work were not allowed to renegotiate, sometimes even after the homeowner offered to pay their arrears in full.
What the Strib did with this editorial is draw their line in the sand. They chose rampant materialism over the value of family time. They believe that greed is indeed good. They chose an economic system that is rife with corruption, unfairness and exploitation over any consideration of a system that takes into account human needs and production for the good of society.
I think it’s the Strib editors that ought to be thankful they can continue living in their big suburban homes and driving big cars to work and enjoying lengthy paid vacations while putting down others less fortunate without having to worry about working people really showing them what they think of their elitist ideas.
There is more to life than making a dollar!
The Strib gets quite a bit of advertising from Target, so on one hand it is not surprising they would make such a blatant plug for Target’s bad idea. It goes to show that the top one percent indeed do stick together. The 99 percent should do likewise.
Mel Reeves welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.