The Stand

Poverty-wage paying Target’s anti-union video is leaked

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Do you shop at Target to avoid supporting the notoriously anti-union WalMart? You might want to reconsider.

Check out this leaked 13-minute video, “Think Hard Before You Sign,” that all new Target employees are required to watch. It is full of lies and half-truths about unions in order to discourage employees from joining together to get the benefits of a union contract.

As Gawker points out, the video “has the production values and cheesy dialogue of an eight-grade educational film” with two fictional employees saying things like, “Because we’re the best, that makes those of us at Target a target ourselves. We’re a target because we’re a threat to the unions.” It goes on to criticize unions as “rigid” and “old-fashioned.”

But as cheesy as its actors and production values may be, it’s anti-union message is nothing to laugh about.

Some REAL Target employees in New York are organizing a union because they earn poverty wages. Click the photo to read the New York Times' coverage

The video’s lowlights include the fake employees’ assurance that “you can get more hours” without a union. The truth is that Target employees in New York, like their Wal-Mart brethren, complain that they can’t get enough hours to earn a living wage and, as The New York Times reports, “employees complained that many of them earned too little to support a family or afford health insurance, forcing some to rely on food stamps and Medicaid for their children.”

Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel’s compensation package rose 84% to $24 million last year, according to a proxy filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Meanwhile, the average sales “team member” earns less than $17,000 annually — if they can manage to get 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year.

That means, Target’s CEO makes more in an hour an a half than the company’s average employee makes in a year. It also means that our tax dollars are subsidizing CEO Steinhafel and his company because Target pays such poverty wages that many of its full-time employees need public assistance just to pay rent, put food on their table or go to the doctor.

If you work at Target, ask yourself, do you think your company’s CEO would work for one minute without having a contract to protect him? Of course not. So why should you? Contact a union organizer today!

If you don’t work at Target, do one of two things: Consider shopping at a unionized store like Fred Meyer that pays its employees decent wages and benefits so they don’t have to rely on taxpayer assistance just to survive. Or, if you choose to continue shopping at Target, talk to the employees about the true benefits of a union contract and how they can earn the same family wages, respect and voice on the job that unionized employees get at Macy’s, Safeway, Albertson’s or QFC.

Click here for a list of unionized grocery and retail store in Washington state.

Short URL: https://www.thestand.org/?p=2072

Posted by on Jun 15 2011. Filed under NATIONAL. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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