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Target allegedly union busting by closing Valley Stream store closed ahead of unionization vote

The only Target in the country facing a unionization vote is closed in the midst of a ridiculously long remodel.
The only Target in the country facing a unionization vote is closed in the midst of a ridiculously long remodel.

There is one Target store in the country where employees will soon hold a unionization vote -- Valley Stream, New York.

There is one Target store in the country closed for six months or more of remodeling -- Valley Stream, New York.

Coincidence? Gawker's Hamilton Nolan thinks not.

Nolan attributes the Valley Stream store's lengthy closure to "Target's anti-union culture of fear." He writes:

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.

A year ago, workers at the Valley Stream Target rejected unionization by a 137 to 85 margin, but last month a federal judge ordered a new vote, ruling that managers had intimidated workers and violated federal labor laws. Closing the store for an extended period of time could help the company purge Valley Stream of pro-union employees before the next vote.

Here's an excerpt from the judge's ruling detailing an "alleged unlawful interrogation" where a Target manager told union organizers that they couldn't speak about unions anywhere on Target's property -- or anywhere on the entire adjacent strip mall:

Target allegedly union busting by closing Valley Stream store closed ahead of unionization vote

Wal-Mart-esque tactics of that sort led the judge to rule the company had acted illegally during the run-up to the first union election. Target spokeswoman Molly Synder said the company is "disappointed" in the ruling and may appeal the decision to the full National Labor Relations Board.


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