In the seven years that she has worked for Walmart, Venanzi Luna, 35, has started a new tradition. She doesn’t cook a turkey. She doesn’t set a table. She doesn’t give thanks for the most important things in her life.
Instead, each Thanksgiving, she puts on her uniform and goes to work.
“I work every year for Thanksgiving. I think it’s part of the territory. It is a retail company,” says Luna, who works as full-time deli department manager. Having been with the company for so long – earning a 20-cent-per-hour raise each year, and rising to department manager – she is now making $14.05 an hour.
To Luna, Walmart’s Thanksgiving hours suggest the company thinks more about its profits than its associates. But, she reasons, work is work.
“Some people volunteer to work, some people are forced to work. It’s our job. We take care of the customers, but at the same time, I’d wish to have Thanksgiving with my family,” she says. After a brief pause, she continues, “I haven’t had Thanksgiving with them in seven years. Or a Christmas.”
Luna, while keeping her job, is making Walmart hear her. She participated in a sit-in, joined the protest group OUR Walmart, and while she’s working on Thanksgiving, she has big plans for the day after Thanksgiving: a Black Friday protest in front of the Los Angeles store where she’s a manager.
Read the full article at The Guardian.