Target is America's third-largest retailer. It is also as staunchly anti-union as they come. In 2011, we showed you the cheesy anti-union video all Target employees were shown. We now bring you the new cheesy anti-union video all Target employees must endure.
The existence of Target's new anti-union employee training video (entitled "Think Hard: Protect Your Signature") was first reported today by Josh Eidelson at Salon. And we have obtained the actual video, which is above. It features Dawn and Ricardo, a cool, knowing, multiracial pair of Target employees who are here to talk to you, the Target team member, about the dangers of unions. "Someday, someone you don't know may approach you at work, or visit you at home, asking you to sign your name to an authorization card, petition, or some other union document," Ricardo warns.
"At Target, an open door policy isn't just a catchphrase," clarifies Dawn, in her smirky, Rachel Maddow-esque way. "It's a policy." She's referring to the sort of policy that caused a former Target manager to tell us, of the store's HR policies, "on paper it sounds great but the reality is a horror story."
"Unions want what we have" the video declares. How so? Ricardo explains, as if speaking to a child: "We're a target, because unions are threatened by us. And here's why: when we take business away from retailers that are unionized, those companies may downsize, reducing the number of employees. And that means the union loses members, which is a big problem for the union business. Did you notice how I just called it a business? Because that's what it is."
Target, which posted $73.3 billion in revenues in 2012, is presumably not a "business." Businesses sound bad.
Dawn warns, "But if the unions did try to organize our team members, chances are they would change our fast, fun and friendly culture." That's the fast, fun and friendly culture that Target employees have described to us as "the sketchiest place I ever worked." "Sketchy" should be understood to mean "fast, fun and friendly."
The video drones on for 15 minutes, as Dawn and Ricardo plod through various dire consequences of unionization. "You could come into work one day to find union protesters telling our guests not to shop at Target," Dawn says. "And how could that possibly be good for anyone on our team?"
I dunno... higher wages and better benefits and improved working conditions? Notably absent from this video is any discussion of the fact that the primary reason Target does not want any of its employees to unionize is not because it fears a loss of its precious "culture," but because it fears having to pay higher wages and provide better benefits and working conditions. I don't know how that bit was left out of the script. Quite an oversight.
At the end, the video proclaims that if a union comes into the happy Target workplace, "All those open doors may have to close." Considering what lies behind those open doors, that sounds like a great improvement.