Union derides Target as ‘Walmart junior’ following NLRB ruling

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 representing the greater New York area claimed victory over Target this week and offered some harsh words following a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board.

What got the UFCW excited was a ruling by the NLRB that affirmed an administrative law judge's decision of May 2012, which ordered a new union election be held at Target’s store in Valley Stream, New York. Target was also ordered to halt activities that voided the first union election directed Target to modify all existing and future employee handbooks throughout the country and remove all wording that the NLRB found violated federal labor law.

"This is an overwhelming victory for Target workers not just in the Valley Stream Target but throughout the United States," said Bruce W. Both, president of UFCW local 1500. "It is especially satisfying that the decision be announced as workers around the world today are celebrating May Day and sending the message that working men and women will fight every day, for as long as it takes until irresponsible corporations like Target respect our nation's laws, the laws of other nations and the rights of their workers to form and join a Union."

According to a UFCW press release, the NLRB ruling upheld a May 18th, 2012 administrative law judge's decision that Target maintained illegal no-solicitation policies, threatened employees with closure of the Valley Stream store should they vote for the union, created an impression of illegal surveillance, conducted coercive employee interrogations and threatened employees with discipline for supporting the union.

"It was shocking to all of us involved that this once proud company would get in the gutter with the Walmart's of the world and prove to be no better when it comes to responsible treatment of their employees and their respect for federal law," said Aly Waddy, director of special projects for UFCW Local 1500.

Waddy went on to add that Target’s business model is based on suppression of workers’ rights and public deception about employee treatment and that the union would continue to shine its brightest light on a company it characterized as having increasingly dark business practices. Typically, such harsh statements from the UFCW are reserved for Walmart, whereas Target is a more recent target.