Rattled Target Corp. employees speak to City Pages

Target employees spoke to City Pages to describe what happened Tuesday as layoffs became official. Company officials announced this afternoon that they cut 9 percent of the workforce at their Twin Cities headquarters. That included laying off 600 employees and closing 400 open positions. 

While the poor economy made some layoffs seem inevitable, the news surely created a tense environment at headquarters.

The employees spoke on the condition of anonymity, one of them saying employees were asked not to speak to the media.   

"I expected something might happen -- look at the economy, you know?" a Target HQ employee told City Pages. 

The employee, who was not laid off, said a large group of workers who would stay in their jobs were brought into a large room and told that some of their coworkers would not be sticking around as of 3 p.m.

"[Executives] said, 'Some of your coworkers will be going through a hard time right now, so go up to them if you see them packing their stuff. Keep your ears open for job opportunities for them and get their personal email addresses,'" the employee told City Pages, adding that many at HQ thought the lay offs could reach up to 30 percent.   "I believe they did all they could to minimize the damage. And there is talk about restoring the jobs to those who were laid off once things improve."

Another employee described coworkers being led into meetings and disappearing. 

"Two of the people in my group -- gone," the employee said. "This morning they were like, 'Can we talk to you?' and they said 'OK' and they never came back." 

Employees didn't know how the cuts were made and said they expected they came from every part of company.  One suspected advertising had larger cuts.

When asked if under-performance was a factor or whether lesser-needed positions were targeted, an employee said, "It was based on every factor as far as I know. If someone was performing poorly, then..."