NY Target employees vote against union

Allegations of illegality and intimidation are par for the course whenever union organizers lose an election, so it should have come as no surprise when workers at a Target in Valley Stream, N.Y. voted against unionization.

The National Labor Relation Board announced this past weekend that 137 workers voted against joining the United Food and Commercial Workers union while 85 workers supported the union. Had the drive been successful it would have been the first time workers at any of Target’s store were represented by a collective bargaining agreement.

Bruce Both, president of the U.F.C.W. Local 1500, said in a statement workers at the Valley Stream store had endured a campaign of threats, intimidation and illegal acts by Target management, and he called on the NLRB to direct a new election and order Target to cease what he called, “illegal activity.”

Target refuted those charges in a New York Times article where spokeswoman Molly Snyder said, “Target believes we have followed all laws as outlined by the National Labor Relations Board.”

The same article quoted Both as saying, “Target did everything they could to deny these workers a chance at the American dream. However, the workers’ pursuit of a better life and the ability to house and feed their families is proving more powerful. These workers are not backing down from this fight. They are demanding another election. They are demanding a fair election.”

These retailer versus union matters always end up sounding like a he-said, she-said affair with the truth falling somewhere in the middle.