SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Retailers are gearing up for the holiday shopping season and many of their employees are not happy. More stores are choosing to open on Thanksgiving Day prompting a backlash from employees who have to work the holiday.
The Westfield Oakridge mall in San Jose will be open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, which means employees are going to have to report to work when most people are having turkey dinner. That's two hours earlier than they opened last year.
Tiffani Buchanan wants to spend Thanksgiving with her boyfriend and his family, but she'll be at Westfield Oakridge instead working.
"Their dinner is at 5 p.m. so there's no way I'll be able to make it," she said.
She manages one of the stores at the mall where every retailer is mandated to open at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.
"I think that this is a little bit of a disregard for the retail employees' home life and personal life and it's hard for us to stay positive," she said.
Buchanan is so fed up, she started an online petition on Change.org urging Westfield and other property management companies to keep the malls closed on Thanksgiving.
K-Mart is the target of another petition. The chain will also be open on the holiday, as well as Walmart, Best Buy, and several other major retailers.
"I think they should at least open the next day at a normal time," said shopper Devinne Parsons.
"I feel that every store should be closed so they can be home with their families too," Elaine Kayaer said.
But Westfield insists, it's just giving customers what they want.
In a statement, Oakridge's general manager says: "Given the enthusiasm we have seen for earlier openings over the past few years, Westfield welcomes the opportunity to accommodate this demand and open early."
"Just don't go out and shop," Buchanan said. "I hate to say that because I definitely love my customers and want them to come in, but I have faith that they'll support us in this."
It's a simple request by one employee hoping to restore the meaning of Thanksgiving.
If you want to sign Buchanan's petition click here.
Stores staying closed on Thanksgiving Day:
Barnes and Noble
Bed Bath and Beyond
Burlington Coat Factory
Crate and Barrel
Christmas Tree Shops
Half Price Books
Pier 1 Imports
Sierra Trading Post
Stores opening on Thanksgiving Day:
Dick's Sporting Goods
Stein Mart Black
Toys R' Us
Stores opening Thanksgiving Day creates backlash among employees
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