Your thoughts on a union?

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Im curious to know what other team members think about unions. Any thoughts? I can see the good, and the bad in them. But does the good out wiegh the bad?
 
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We are not on the clock, nor is this site affiliated with Target. This site can NOT be shut down due to union talk.
 

The Mule

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The other site was NOT shut down by Target, this has been established already by others. It went down most likely due to hardware failures of some kind as the owner had multiple sites go down at once, others having nothing to do with Target. At first it was a communication issue from the server and it eventually was taken offline as people were no longer able to ping it for a response.

If, and only IF, we can have a civilized discussion about unions I see no harm. However, if things regress into the name calling and troll baiting that the thread on the old site turned into, then I would say the discussion would do more harm than good in creating our new community here.

As for my opinion on unions in regards to Target, I do not believe they would bring any positives to the table. Retail unions have not had a good track record in bringing their members significant gains versus the guidelines they enforce on their members and the dues they take. My own store would suffer greatly with it's family atmosphere and great communication between TMs and upper management being forced to go through union channels to communicate things and the bonding experiences we go through taken away as we would no longer be able to share in any workloads.

I've worked in and out of unions over the years and have enjoyed the experience for the most part, but have to say again that based on this, I don't think a union in Target would improve anything.
 

Formina Sage

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My disclaimer in each page's footer and the Terms that you agreed to upon registration remove this site from a legal obligation to comply with Target's demands for a site shutdown, should they take that action.
 

redeye58

Hasta Ba Rista, Baby!
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Unions provide a checks & balance with business. Never forget that that's where the 40 hr work week & other labor protections came from.
That said, tho, I don't think that Target's workforce (or most any retail, for that matter) is an ideal place for a union.
 
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http://tgtfiles.target.com/ciab/ciabHome.html

Target's side.

My husband worked at a union shop for several years. Here is our experience.

Contract negotiations happened every two years. Twice they went on S. Both times my husband went on unemployment. When they went back to work, benefits and wages stayed exactly the same as they were before. We gained nothing but a year of 80% of normal wages while they negotiated.

Two other negotiation periods brought reduced medical benefits and cost of living raises and restrictions on changing work centers. Retirees got more money and union dues went up. Yay for retirees, suck for us. His reduced pay and benefits and increased dues paid for the retirees benefits.

In the end his plant was shut down. The day the announcement was made the union bosses were mysteriously out of town. The union hall was closed. They made no effort to help the people who had just had their livelyhood stripped from them. Phone calls were not returned and certified letters were sent out to union members asking for the remainder of the dues the union said they owed within days of the announcement. They weren't concerned about us, they just wanted their money.

Is everyones experience this way? I don't know, but it sure left a sour taste in my mouth.

There is no guarantee. You could get more money, or like us, you could lose money. Either way, Target doesn't have to accept what is put on the bargaining table, and if it hurts their bottom line, they won't.
 

commiecorvus

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I'm pro-union.
My grandfather was a Wobblie (IWW), my father was in the carpenters union from the time he was a teenager, my wife is a teacher, and I've worked mostly union jobs.
Then I moved to the East Coast and discovered that not only were the kind of jobs I had not as plentiful but the unions were very weak.
Weak unions can be almost as bad as no union at all.
The good thing about a weak union is that the people in it can get involved, kick out the people running it and get the strength back. I've seen it done. Can't do that with a business.
Are unions perfect? Not by a long shot.
Are they better then the alternative? Most certainly.
 

GangulonCyst

You want more hours?
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Myself, I do believe that unions played a vital part in our history.

40 hour work week? Thank you Unions!!

Paid vacation? Thank you Unions!!

Employer subsidized health insurance? Thank you Unions!!

Retirement savings plans? Thank you Unions!!

Holiday pay? Thank you Unions!!

Workplace safety? Thank you Unions!!

Through the early part of the 1900's, Unions played a vital and NECESSARY part of the American Worker's lives. Many of our benefits that we take for granted now were fought for and won by Unions from 1910 through 1950.

The Department of Labor was created by President Taft in 1913. One of the first things it did was to ban child labor. It continued to regulate worker's rights, in many cases relying on Union rally points to decide what aspect of the American worker's jobs to assess next. The Railway Labor Act(1926) laid the foundation for the National Mediation Board. The Fair Labor Standards Act(1938) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards affecting employees in the private sector and in Federal, State, and local governments. The DOL was instrumental in President Truman issuing Executive Order 9980 and 9981, which ban discrimination in federal employment and the military respectively. The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963 to ensure women get the same pay as a man. Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts(1964) bans discrimination in the workforce. The Age Discrimination Act was passed in 1967.

But then things started to change. The government, realizing that Unions were raising some valid concerns, created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) in 1970. OSHA is a relatively young government department, but it's impact is felt by every worker. OSHA now protects workers from retribution for whistle-blowing on their employer, provides for a safe workplace for all workers and training to perform jobs safely.

Fast forward to the present time.... We now have all sorts of worker protections and numerous outlets to take the worker's side(ACLU, et al). With all of the protections now afforded workers, unions are mostly outdated. Unions collect fees from it's members claiming that they will ensure better working conditions, pay, and benefits. The reality is that a business does not have to agree to ANY Union request. What happens if a business refuses to agree to a Union's demands? Workers go on S, and the business hires/transfers other workers to do what the Union members will not do. What do the Union workers gain? Experience in filling out unemployment applications and occasionally a stipend from the Union. And guess what.....they must still pay Union dues while unemployed.

Unions are outdated and not needed at Target. If you don't like working at Target or in retail, a Union will not make you like working at Target. Plain and simple.

Fire away......
 

carnage286

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Here we go again.. Formina start getting a backup site ready just incase..

My 2cents, I have been in union shops for a long time and target has been my 2nd that wasn't union.. Honestly between the culture that is target and just the environment, I don't think it needs a union at all..
 

Formina Sage

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Haha no worries on backups ;) Nightly differentials, both local and offsite. I'd hate for something to get screwed up and you guys would be lost all over again! :O
 

mrknownothing

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I realize that unions have helped the workforce in many ways over the decades (40 hr. work week, child labor restrictions, workplace safety, etc.), but I don't see how unions would help much (if at all) in a retail environment. Labor laws enforce what the unions fought for in the past, so one could argue that they're obsolete in some respects.
 

commiecorvus

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Considering how hard the Koch brothers are working to kill unions right now it's pretty clear they don't think unions are obsolete. Right now there are state governments trying to repeal child labor laws. The people on the steps of those governments with signs screaming and jumping up and down are union members (and other people too but you get my point).
 
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@ TargetCA

The link in my post above is Target or ?just that store? addressing the very issue you are talking about.

While I don't believe a union will help team members, I'm VERY curious to see what happens here. If a union is voted in I can visualize the chaos as Target tries to prevent it from happening at other stores, it will be very interesting in the months to come.

The team members in my store haven't even heard about this, or if they have they aren't talking (at least not to me since I'm "management"). What about everyone else's stores? Is there chatter? I'm just curious, I don't know how Target has kept this so quiet, at least in my store. One last question, how many of you actually are comfortable talking to your team leads and execs about unions and whats going on at the New York store?
 

The Mule

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We LIGHTLY joke about having a union at our store since we have such a close group and know we have no need for one(again our store only, not Target as a company). What I find interesting from TargetCA's link is the analyst's comment about union grocery chains almost being afraid of competing against a non union chain. Is that why they are pushing this, to remove a threat to their own way of living? A point could be made on this.

Again, I'm for unions in the right market. Steelworkers are a fine example of a skilled trade that needs collective bargaining rights due to their dangers and specialized skill sets. Retail on the other hand just doesn't seem to measure up against the need for a union(in my opinion).

Commiecorvus, what state is trying to repeal child labor laws?
 
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I heard this story a few days ago, and it has gottenn very interesting. then tonight, I was watching the news and it's about a New York Target store that might become a union. ne1 else heard about it? I think it would be very interesting to see if it really happens.

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/06/09/target-unions/?refid=0

The vote at that store is on June 17th.
Here is a link from the new York times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/business/economy/24target.html
 
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commiecorvus

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Wisconsin and Maine are both trying to roll back child labor laws.
 

The Mule

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I have to take issue with some of the comments in those articles. They claim Target is "anti-union". Name me a business that is actually for a union. Again, I know unions have their place, but the Gawker articles seem like businesses should offer no opposition(within the law) to an outside force trying to dictate to them how their business should operate. It's mentalities like that which foster resentment towards legitimate union needs.

Also, I feel that when they solicit stories from Target employees about their experiences they will always get a disproportionate amount of negative comments. People will always find the time to complain about things but have to stop and make the time to offer praise, being on the internet seems to only enhance this effect.

I would absolutely LOVE to see this end amicably, but I feel there will be long lasting resentment no matter how things play out after the vote. The only thing I know for sure is that if the union is let in, that store will be a dead zone for transfers into it or out of it.
 

commiecorvus

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They claim Target is "anti-union". Name me a business that is actually for a union.
When the first and only orientation film I was shown was the anti-union one, that seems to establish Targets position on the matter.
There is a big difference between preferring to not have a union and doing everything in your power to crush one.
 
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I found it interesting that the NY store employees are the ones who approached and sought out the union for representation.
 

EvanM07

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Yeah Target is most definately anti-union. I also remember the anti-union video in orientation. Not to say it's good or bad that they tell their new team members the companies position on it... Just reinforcing what comm said... It's true that they are... Just saying.
 

The Mule

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Would they prefer us not to be in a union? Sure, I don't doubt that one bit. What I'm saying is to call someone "anti-union" is to bring up images of the original days when they started and companies sending out enforcers to beat people up and use fear and intimidation to keep their employees "in line". I remember the union video myself and it was hardly intimidating.

Maybe we're simply disagreeing on how they choose to word things here. I feel we can agree on some underlining issues here and work past the rest. Another fine example of how an in person discussing goes much farther in expressing tone and meaning than simple words on a forum at times.
 
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