Workers push back against earlier holiday openings

By STEVE KARNOWSKI, MARGERY BECK and ANNE D'INNOCENZIO, Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS - Count your blessings, then get to work.

That may be Thanksgiving for more retail workers this year, as stores desperate to pull in buyers on the first weekend of the holiday shopping season push their openings earlier and earlier. Unhappy workers who say it ruins their Thanksgiving celebrations are trying to persuade companies to back off, but retailers say they're stuck: It's what customers want.

Reporting to work at 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day ruins what is supposed to be a day spent with family, said Anthony Hardwick, who works part-time at a Target store in Omaha corralling carts. His online petition against Target Corp.'s plan to open at midnight on Black Friday had drawn more than 100,000 signatures from retail workers and the public by Wednesday, about two weeks after he launched it.