Target Cleans Out Workforce at Valley Stream Store, turnover nearly hits 25% in 6-months

With eye toward a new union election, Target has replaced over 20% of its workforce at the Valley Stream store after a union election in June 2011

WESTBURY, NY (01/27/2012)(readMedia)– Preparing for the February 1st federal hearing on Target Corp.’s violations of the National Labor Relations Act, United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 1500 Assistant to the President, Pat Purcell, expressed outrage that over 20% of the workforce at Valley Stream Target has been “turned over” or replaced, cleansing the store of longtime employees seeking better working conditions from the billion-dollar company.

“How is it in this job starved economy, with so many people looking for jobs, Target has turned-over 20% of its workforce at Valley Stream in a short 7-month span?”, Purcell questioned. “It’s evident Target began a practice of ‘cleansing’ their workforce in fear and in anticipation of another union vote and the possibility of providing wages and benefits up to par with unionized retailers,” Purcell said. Addressing the February 1st National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) hearing on Target’s violations of workers’ rights, Purcell said: “Target has resorted to playing games with people’s livelihoods. Their actions demonstrate what we and the National Labor Relations Board have asserted: Target will do anything to prevent their employees from banding together to fight for more respect at work, even violate the law,”

Questioning the motive behind the high turnover rate, Purcell questioned why Target’s turnover rate was on pace to nearly double the national retail average: “If Target paid more and provided better benefits would we be seeing a turnover this high? If working for Target is as good as Target says it is, why is their turnover rate so high? The retail behemoth Target enters communities across America with a promise of jobs. Unfortunately communities like Valley Stream are finding these jobs fail to provide stability, consistent hours or affordable benefits. Our communities need a commitment from all retailers to provide jobs they can rely on. Not retailers with exceptionally high turnover rates, making it near impossible for hardworking men and women to accumulate benefits and provide for their families. Shamefully Target has continued to demonstrate they’re simply committed to putting profits ahead of people, “

UFCW Local 1500 knows companies like Target, who are on the forefront of retail growth, have the ability and should lead by example. Rather than focusing on higher profits and cutting hours, jobs and benefits, Target should focus on setting an example as a retail leader, by providing good jobs for hundreds of communities across America. “We’ve presented Target with an opportunity to change. They have the ability to make their retail jobs, good jobs in our country. They have an opportunity to be a responsible employer by making commitments to their employees and the communities they inhabit. They should start by ending the intimidation and threats to employees who are banding together to demand better working conditions from their billion-dollar employer,” Purcell concluded.

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 represents 23,000 grocery workers throughout Long Island, the five boroughs , Westchester, Putnam and Duchess Counties.

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