Guest post by Joe Hansen, UFCW International President
Workers at the Target in Valley Stream, N.Y., did a very brave thing last year: they exercised their constitutionally protected right to come together to talk about the issues they face at work and what they could do to improve their jobs for themselves, their families, and their community.
Target responded to these workers' initiative in a sadly typical way - waging a vicious campaign to scare the workers away from joining together as members of UFCW Local 1500. The company's tactics ultimately derailed last year's election at Valley Stream - and those tactics are currently being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which could decide to call for a new election with fairer conditions.
But now Target has sunk to a new low. The company announced plans to close the Valley Stream store for six months - a move that seems designed to put an end to the workers’ campaign to join together to improve their jobs.
Target is targeting these workers, singling them out, and trying to prevent the possibility of a second, fairer election. It's a shameful strategy, and one that takes aim at a core American value: the right to stick together on the job. We can't stand for such a bald-faced attack on the basic rights of working people.
UFCW Local 1500 has rightfully spoken out against the closure of the Valley Stream store and I hope federal regulators will heed their call to intervene. If they don't, it will be not only a grave injustice, but it will further embolden companies like Target and Walmart, who seek to squash worker rights in the pursuit of unfettered control of our economy.
Join me today to prevent Target from closing the Valley Stream store. Workers have the right to stick together and form a union. It’s wrong for Target or any other retailer to punish workers for exercising their rights. Retail workers across the country will be influenced by this decision, as they act together to improve their own jobs. Click here to do your part to ensure a fair outcome in Valley Stream.