Special Guests: Patrick Schmitt - Change.org Global Campaigns Director
NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, well, Target workers are targeting their company; 7,000 of them now protesting the retailers decision to open midnight Thanksgiving. They want the time to get that much-needed post-turkey sleep instead of overtime at the store.
My next guest helping Target employees mobilize this Thanksgiving revolt. Patrick Schmitt from Change.org joining me now. Pat, good to have you.
PATRICK SCHMITT, CHANGE.ORG: Great to be here, Neil.
CAVUTO: What kind of response are you getting, Pat?
SCHMITT: You just said 7,000. It's up to 65,000 --
CAVUTO: Whoa, whoa, whoa.
SCHMITT: And it's not just workers. It's customers are outraged. And they're taking to the blogs.
CAVUTO: But how many workers are there?
SCHMITT: I would guess it's hundreds. I don't have exact numbers.
CAVUTO: OK. So none of you want to work on Thanksgiving. That I can understand. Target might get back and say technically it's midnight of the next day. Take a chill pill. What do you say?
SCHMITT: Well, of course. I think, first, employees have to report before midnight. But more importantly, this whole arms race towards Thanksgiving has gotten out of hand. It's not just customers that say that. Even Brian Dunn (ph), the CEO at Best Buy, said this is terrible.
CAVUTO: Yeah. But if they all do it, you could be the odd man -- or your group supporting what you're doing, the odd group out.
SCHMITT: Sure. But what's interesting here is that this arms race has been going on for a few years, as I'm sure you've seen.
SCHMITT: And what's shifting is with social media and platforms like Change.org, that now companies can take a step back and say, actually, we value Thanksgiving. We value families. And that's something that JC Penney is doing, right? They're starting at the somewhat less crazy hour of 5:00 a.m.
CAVUTO: Well, there is that. Target, we asked for a representative.
They didn't provide one, but they did provide a statement that said "we do our best to work around the schedules of our team members, making every effort to accommodate their plans. Target will offer holiday pa to all hourly team members who work on Thanksgiving day."
What's so bad about that?
SCHMITT: What's different now, versus ten years ago, is that a company like Target, which really prides itself on its investment in the community, has a brand to protect. And it will be seen as -- seen as something that either they value their workers and they share the values of their customers, or they don't.
CAVUTO: Yeah, but what if they value their workers enough that they don't want their workers to lose out to Walmart or to these others that are going to be open that day? And then you lose a job? And the company goes Kaplooey? Then what?
SCHMITT: Yeah. But I think we've seen time and time again, with social media and with platforms like Change.org, that actually being articulate about your values will get you even farther than just opening a couple hours earlier, right after a national holiday.
CAVUTO: Yeah, but it used to be normal values in my business. I'm a little older than you, Pat, not trying to preach to you. But where shows that started before 7:00 a.m. were like ridiculous. No one started before 7:00 am. Then they moved it back to -- they would have -- I started a pre- market show at 6:30, then 6:00. Then they said, Neil, we want to put you on at 3:00 in the morning.
My point was, even though I'm joking, that things moved earlier, and as much as a discomfort it was to some in the business who had to do it, ie me, it was the way of the world. It was the way we were going. Much as around the clock trading has gotten to be a staple in the markets now, as much as we who follow the markets hate it.
But that's the way the world is going.
SCHMITT: Right. And it is the way the world is going. And CEOs and customers and workers all think it's a little silly. And actually one person stood up. So a Target employee from Omaha, Nebraska, whose job it is to collect the carts in the parking lot, stood up and said, hey, I don't think this is a great idea.
CAVUTO: What if he has no more carts to collect? You know what I'm saying? What if Target, because of this and workers revolting, for all very valid reasons -- I don't want to work on a holiday. You know, you're stepping over the line. But others are stepping out of the line, and then you're out of a job.
SCHMITT: Yeah. But 65,000 people have said, you know, Target, you should open later.
CAVUTO: You know why I think they lied? Because they still go shopping. I think there are some people who, for so me reason -- I don't share their zeal, Pat, but they will go at all hours to shop. They will go at all odd hours to shop. So these 65,000 people who support this -- if that's what you're saying -- I think half of them are lying. They're still going to go shopping, especially if they're with in-laws they hate.
SCHMITT: Well, we'll see. And there will always be in-laws.
CAVUTO: Yes, there will, indeed. All right, Pat, we'll see how it goes. I admire your guts to just follow this all, but we'll see what happens. Patrick Schmitt, thank you.
SCHMITT: Thanks, Neil.
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