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Target Workers Vote to Form First Union in Company’s History

Employees of a Brooklyn Target pharmacy decided that they had had enough.

For years, Target—the national’s “coolest” megastore—hasn’t been so cool to their workers, having launched one of the nation’s most virulent anti-union campaigns (Evidence: their didactic, hilarious anti-union video above). But just recently, pharmacy employees at a Target in Brooklyn decided to take matters into their own hands and chose to form a union, the very first in the retailer’s 113-year-history.

According to The Wall Street Journal, there are over 350,000 workers currently employed by Target. Prior to this union drive, there had been only two successful attempts to unionize in the company’s history, both of which failed. Despite that record, pharmacy workers decided to organize after learning that Target had formed a partnership with CVS, putting them at risk of losing their wages, jobs, and hours. Members of the group organized under their local United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

While slightly less than a dozen workers will be members of the union, it’s a remarkable achievement for the group, especially given union membership rates nationwide. Just seven percent of American workers belong to unions, a decline from over 35 percent during the 1950s. Rates have continued to dip in the past year, although the labor movement has recently been hugely successful in achieving substantial living wage increases.Target plans to appeal the NLRB’s decision to allow a vote, but the election is expected to go through. It’s a huge victory for a small staff, hoping to build a bigger movement.

(Via: The Wall Street Journal)

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