On the heels of rumors that some Apple retail locations would open on Thanksgiving Day, joining a growing number of stores that are denying workers the ability to stay home with their families and celebrate, the Apple news site ifoAppleStore reports that CEO Tim Cook cancelled those plans. The site notes, “Cook’s specific objection was that it’s important for Apple retail employees to be with their families on the holiday.”
Apple did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.
Rather than waiting to open for the holiday shopping rush on the morning of Black Friday, more and more stores have decided to open on Thanksgiving Day this year, including Walmart, Toys R Us, Target, Best Buy, and Kmart. Kmart is the most aggressive, opening at 6 a.m. that day.
But other stores have decided to preserve the holiday for their employees. Nordstrom, Burlington Coat Factory, Patagonia, REI, American Girl, Costco, and Radio Shack will all stay closed. Radio Shack went so far as to say that it had opened on the holiday in the past but decided it was better for both customers and for workers to wait until Friday.
While the stores that will be opening claim that employees are “excited” to work that day, there are reports that employees at Kmart, for example, are being denied requests to take that day off. Even if they volunteer, it may be because retail has become notorious for denying workers enough hours to make a living and they need the extra pay to get by. More than 8 million people in the country are working part time but want to be working full time. And many American workers may struggle to take the holidays off, as the U.S. is the only advanced country that doesn’t guarantee paid vacation days.