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N.Y. Target workers say No to union (Read More…)

Updated: June 18, 2011

Workers at a Target store in suburban New York City voted against joining a union Friday, bringing another defeat to organized labor in its attempts to penetrate the world of big retail.

The vote was 137 to 85, as Target workers in Valley Stream, N.Y., declined to be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW). If the union effort had prevailed, it
would have been the first time workers have organized at the nation’s second-largest retailer.

Despite the defeat, several experts predicted union activity will pick up at other big-box retailers and non-union grocery stores.

UFCW Local 1500 spokesman Patrick Purcell predicted organizing efforts in the New York area would continue. “This is only Round One,” he said.
Purcell added that the union is “going to protest the election and call for a re-election. We will file our objections on Monday.”

A Target spokeswoman declined to comment.

Labor organizers in the Twin Cities said they’ve been emboldened by the Valley Stream battle.

“This is the start of something,” said Bernie Hesse, political director of Local 789 of the UFCW in Minneapolis. “This is not something we’re going to fold up and put away, regardless of the outcome.”

The retail industry has been among the most difficult for unions to organize because of its transient workforce. In Valley Stream, the vote ended a months-long battle, punctuated by bitter talk and accusations of wrongdoing from both sides.

Target argued that its employees are better off working with the company than a union. Company officials said workers should have the right to work without paying union dues. The union countered that the vote was about the right to work more hours than Target currently allows.

Posted by Admin on 06/20 at 09:25 AM