KIRKWOOD, MO. (KTVI) – Black Friday once meant waking up early to find the bargains. Now several stores are open for at least part of Thanksgiving. Some workers wish those shoppers would save their spending for another day.
We talked with one Wal-Mart worker who asked not to be identified. He feared speaking out could cost him his job.
"I feel that on Thanksgiving all places should be shut down to give family time to be together, “said the worker.
He is scheduled to work on Thanksgiving and Black Friday. The worker has heard about talk about a walkout but does not expect one to happen at his store.
"They can hold it against you," he said.
Wal-Mart believes talk of a walkout is fueled by outside forces.
"This is a very small contingent of associates being propped up by the unions," said Wal-Mart’s David Tovar.
Shoppers we talked with seemed to agree with the workers. One said it depended on how big the bargains were. Another said Thanksgiving should be a holiday to spend time with family.
The reality is more and more shoppers are spending money on Thanksgiving. One recent survey found a 6 percent jump in the number of shoppers expecting to spend money on Thanksgiving.
Unless that trend goes away, some experts believe the stores will remain open.
This is Wal-Mart’s response to questions about a potential walkout:
"We are preparing to have a great Black Friday across all of 4,000 locations in the U.S. We have a great group of associates at Wal-Mart, in fact more than one million associates will be working throughout the holiday weekend and they're excited about our Black Friday plans this year. This is the Super Bowl for retailers and we're ready. We've been working on our Black Friday plans for almost a year now and we're prepared to have a great event. We care about our associates and our associates care about providing a great customer experience on Black Friday. We're confident that's what our associates will deliver for customers this year at Wal-Mart.
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. Most of the numbers of people the UFCW claims at their events aren't even Walmart workers. They are union representatives and other union members. The super majority of our 1.3 million associates are excited about Black Friday and are ready to serve our customers."