Employees protest an earlier-than-ever Black Friday

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PHOENIX, Ariz.--For many of us, lining up outside a big box retail store in the middle of the night after Thanksgiving is as much a tradition as carving the turkey.

But this year the madness will start even earlier. Stores like Target, Kohls, Best Buy and others are opening Thanksgiving night, some as early as 8pm.

Now there's backlash from employees who accuse the retailers of stealing Thanksgiving.

"I thought wow, this is a federal holiday," said Darren Krock, who works at a Phoenix-area retailer that plans to open at 9pm Thursday. "I mean it's Thanksgiving, I should be at home with family and friends."

Krock says retailers are just being greedy and he has joined more than 160,000 people in signing an on-line petition with the group Change.org titled "Tell Target To Save Thanksgiving."

The petition asks for Target to push back its opening time to 5am Friday morning instead of midnight and now has become a spring board for people to protest other retailers like Best Buy and Kohls.

"A full holiday with family is not just for the elite of this nation -- all Americans should be able to break bread with loved ones and get a good night's rest on Thanksgiving!," the petition says.

Phoenix resident Michelle McDonnell agrees, but she is unemployed, and says at this point she'd take any job, even if it meant working holidays.

"As someone who is looking for a job, and they're complaining about having to work an extra day, you have to rethink things," she said.

McDonnell was part of a group rallying Thursday afternoon for Congress to pass legislation that would create more jobs in infrastructure.

Target released a statement in response to the petition saying in part: "Black Friday is one of the busiest and most competitive shopping days of the year. We have heard from our guests that they want to shop Target following their Thanksgiving celebrations rather than only having the option of getting up in the middle of the night. By opening at midnight, we are making it easier than ever to deliver on our guests wants and needs....Target will offer holiday pay to all hourly team members who work on Thanksgiving Day."