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.
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:
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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