July 15, 2024

Workers Reject Union at Target Store

A spokeswoman for Target said early Saturday morning that 137 workers had voted against joining the union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, while 85 workers voted for it.

In a statement, the union’s president, Bruce W. Both, said that the workers at the Valley Stream store endured a “campaign of threats, intimidation and illegal acts by Target management,” and that the union would contest the results.

“Target did everything they could to deny these workers a chance at the American dream,” he said. “However, the workers’ pursuit of a better life and the ability to house and feed their families is proving more powerful. These workers are not backing down from this fight. They are demanding another election. They are demanding a fair election. They are demanding justice and they are prepared to fight for it.” 

In the days before the vote, union officials said a victory would be a coup that would create momentum for organizing drives at retail stores not just in New York, but in other states. Target executives repeatedly told the store’s 250 hourly employees that no union was needed and that the union would make work rules more rigid and make it harder for Target to compete.

During the organizing drive, pro-union workers said the main issues included low wages and work assignments that often totaled just 10 or 20 hours a week — not enough, they said, to support themselves or their children.

In meetings and fliers, Target officials told employees that a union could not guarantee better pay or benefits and only wanted their dues. In a move that worried numerous workers, the company said there were no guarantees that the store would remain open if the workers unionized.

The union filed a complaint with the labor board last month asserting that Target had unlawfully prohibited employees from wearing pro-union buttons and from discussing working conditions on online sites. It also said Target had unlawfully threatened employees with dismissal if they spoke about the union and had threatened to close the store if it unionized.

Target officials said that they carefully complied with labor laws during their campaign against the union.

Anahad O’Connor contributed reporting.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=a7dfb53adc71fbb73e6b7483a4ceb4fe

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