Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when frenzied holiday shoppers hit the malls and super stores, is fast approaching as news about major retailers opening their doors on Thanksgiving circulates, forcing thousands of employees to work instead of spending time with their families.
As I write this, the petition over Walmart opening on Thanksgiving has garnered more than 30,000 Signatures (and counting!). Not to mention, Walmart workers across the US calling for a strike in an effort to end the retaliation against workers who speak out for their rights.
Our friends from The Story of Stuff released this new one-minute video parodying Black Friday, which features footage of shoppers behaving badly set to a classic holiday tune. It’s a wee bit disturbing, but worth a watch!
The Story of Stuff folks encourage viewers to “Choose Family over Frenzy.” That sounds a lot more pleasant to me! Visit their website to support striking Walmart workers and to share your mall-free holiday plans.
Here’s what Chie Abad, Global Exchange’s Sweatshop Policy Analyst (and former sweatshop-worker) wants shoppers to think about this Black Friday:
I want shoppers to be conscientious about what products they buy and think about how those products were made, where they were made, and who made them. I want people to consider the working conditions of workers who make the products and sell the products. Companies should be accountable for the working conditions of its workers.
Your Alternative Gift Choice to Avoid Black Friday
Instead of buying mass-produced products from big-box stores this holiday season, consider avoiding the mayhem by giving the gift of Global Exchange membership to folks on your gift list. It’s the same price as a regular annual Global Exchange membership, but it comes with extra Fair Trade gifts!
There are six membership packages to choose from, including “Support a Farmer” and “Stand for Human Rights.” You pick the gift and Global Exchange takes care of the rest. Each gift membership includes:
- One-Year Membership to Global Exchange;
- Special Gift Certificate;
- Fair Trade Gift(s) that represent Global Exchange’s work towards a more just, peaceful, and sustainable world.
To see what Fair Trade gifts are included in each package, check them out online here.
Ask Chie Abad to speak to your school or church about how you can create a Sweat-free community. Invite her at Chie@globalexchange.org
- Read this new report: Socially responsible shoppers concerned about the conditions of all workers around the world should check out the new comprehensive report from Free2Work, “The Story Behind the Barcode: Apparel Industry Trends from Farm to Factory.”
- Learn more about the Walmart strike: Corporate Action Network website has a video of Walmart workers speaking out.