Top US retailer wants to squash unions – leaked docs  — Analysis

Emails urge management at Target stores to look for the “red flags” of worker unions

Target is a US retail giant that allegedly ordered its employees to not form unions. Target also warned them about signs staff might be organizing.

Target Workers Unite has obtained documents that show Target, America’s biggest retail chain, sent new guidelines to its manager in January, suggesting they be proactive about looking for possible signs of labor unionism.

Managers are also advised to cooperate with the company’s human resources departments to prevent the organizing of such campaigns. Documents and training programs are listed below. “Intro to Labor Relations,” were anonymously leaked by one of the managers to Target Workers Unite, a worker’s advocacy group.

“This training will help you understand Target’s philosophy on unions and how unions could impact our Brand and our team,”The introduction to training.

In the document, worker unions are described as a problem which can limit flexibility and reduce job descriptions. It also increases operating costs of shops and creates more work for employees. “conflict between management and employees.” 

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Managers are encouraged and empowered to seek out potential candidates “red flags”Integration efforts including small gatherings. Expressions of anti-Semitism and “unusual activities”Like distributing leaflets supporting unions in parking lots. Potential red flags included taking part in social media-related work discussions and meeting with workers recently dismissed.

“If you look at the training, they try to say they’re not anti-union, that they’re pro guests and pro team members, but they wouldn’t be having these training forced on management at our stores if they weren’t actually trying to union bust and prevent us from exercising our rights… Target is no better than any other company out there,” Adam Ryan, one of Target’s employees and an organizer with Target Workers Unite, told the Guardian.

Last August Target workers organized to demand hazard compensation for Covid-19 risks at their workplaces. The company offered an additional $2 per hour for Target Workers Unite in the final weeks of 2021. However, the campaign did not satisfy the target workers unite and they continued their efforts. 

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