Last year, a Target store in Valley Stream, New York was the site of an long campaign by the UFCW to unionize the store's workers. Target has no unionized stores, and remains staunchly anti-union. The union lost the vote at Valley Stream, but last month a judge ordered a new election due to company misconduct. Let's take a look at just how brazen Target's anti-union culture of fear really is.
One interesting thing to know about Target's Valley Stream store is this: it's closed. For "a remodel," of course. Employees were informed in March that the store would shut down at the end of April and not reopen until mid-November. All "team members in good standing" were offered the exciting chance to take an unpaid leave for those six months; they can also put in for a transfer to another store (if it happens to have open positions), or just be paid through June and say goodbye. The UFCW notes (and Target confirms) that only one other Target location in the country is being closed for a similar remodeling, and that one is being closed for a far shorter period of time. So, the only almost-unionized Target store is also the only store the company needed to shut down for seven months. Not suspicious at all.
The following are excerpts from the recently issued decision of National Labor Relations Board judge Steven Davis on the Target Valley Stream case. Davis ruled that Target managers unlawfully threatened and interrogated employees. (He also found, somewhat hilariously, that Target's employee handbook was full of blatantly unlawful rules for employees.) A new union election will be held at the Valley Stream store. Click to enlarge the excerpts below.
Employee testimony of being directly warned by a supervisor not to discuss unions.
Here, Target officials insinuate to employees at a meeting that a union would lead to the closing of the store.
And this fun section recounts the time that a Target manager told organizers and employees that the couldn't speak about unions anywhere on Target's property—or anywhere in "the whole mall." LOL.
If you are a current or former Target employee who'd like to share your own experiences related to these issues, email me.