On June 17th workers at a Target store in Vally Stream, N.Y. voted against union representation. The United Food and Commercial Workers and several Target employees have immediately alleged wrongdoing. The union asserts that the vote of 137 to 85 was a result of illegal union busting. The UFCW has asked the National Labor Relations Board to investigate Target. A 9 year veteran of the store Sonia Williams had this to say “This is not actually a victory for Target. They should understand that something is radically wrong up in that store, Target won through fear.” Williams went on to say “Mark my word, it’s going to be hell up inside that store for we who wanted the union. But I went into this with my eyes wide open,and this is just the beginning. Because we have all of the other retailers looking at us.”
I think Williams said it best. Other retailers are looking at Target right now. When fewer workers have union representation it drives down wages for the entire labor pool. This loss may set e precedent where more and more workers are paid the bare minimum. Another Target worker Betsey Wilson had this to say when asked about her $20,000 a year in wages “I don’t mind being on food stamps, I pay taxes, I deserve them.” Unfortunately for their workers and the taxpaying public, Target is failing to pay their employees enough to survive. In lieu of paying living wages Target opts to let the taxpayers pick up their slack.
From the outside looking in it would appear that Target’s management has created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. They have been inundating their workers with anti union propaganda, The following pamphlet insinuates that they may close unionized locations.
The retail giant has also shown a propaganda video. The hypocrisy of this video is almost unbelievable. Ironically both of the actors in this video are represented by a union. Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks breaks this video down play by-play.
Cenk’s rendition of this videos soundtrack is spot on. With all the money Target saves by paying subsistence wages, they should get some decent music. The star of the film Ric Reitz has been quoted as saying “Am I pro union? Absolutely.” Looks like we can chock this one up to Ric’s impressive union resume.
Last but not least. Lets have an applause for our costar Nicky Buggs.
An employers best interest is to pay you less. With collective bargaining there is a chance to earn an equal days pay for an equal days work. “The UFCW is committed to raising living standards for all retail workers, including those at this and all Targets,” said union official Audra Makuch. To know more about UFCW please visit their website http://www.ufcw.org/
To learn more about unions in general visit the AFL CIOs unions 101 page.