Shoppers are getting ready to camp out, push, curse and fight to buy gaming systems, televisions and tablets at a low price. Most of these items are made in third-world nations and sorted and processed by low wage earning workers under the pressure to work hard and fast with no benefits and, for some, no likelihood of being hired permanently.
Black Friday has resulted in numerous deaths and injuries, and shoppers need to abandon this nonsense once and for all.
The whole idea behind Black Friday is ridiculous. People in countries as far as China are working to build devices in deplorable conditions under oppressive governments ruled by dictators. Here in America, warehouse workers are earning minimum wage and are on a road to poverty.
Currently, more than 600,000 manufacturing workers earn $9.60 per hour or less, and 1.5 million manufacturing workers — one out of every four — make $11.91 per hour or less, according to the National Employment Law Project. To wait in line all night in the cold and risk being injured, or even killed, at daybreak for a discount makes no sense given the exploitative conditions that occur on the shopping day.
In 2008, a retail worker was killed by shoppers that stampeded into a Long Island Wal- Mart, according to the New York Daily News. There have been several other incidents that have been reported and shoppers cannot simply ignore these instances.
Recent efforts to bring about some integrity have been initiated. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration established the Crowd Management Safety Guidelines for Retailers, a list of actions to reduce the risk shoppers and retailers face during these chaotic instances.
Similar to the fanatical consumers, retail workers must be at stores in the early hours of the morning on Black Friday. They are expected to work in an expeditious manner, subjected to verbal abuse and sometimes dangerous working conditions.
The best thing consumers can do is stay home, save their money and stand in solidarity with underpaid temp workers who are not being paid adequate wages. No discount is worth continuing this cycle of usury and degradation.