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Protest targets Target for unfair treatment of Canadians
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Protestors target Target
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Protestors target Target
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Unions take on Target in Mississauga
MISSISSAUGA – Over 300 demonstrators marched on Target Canada’s headquarters in Mississauga, Ontario, on August 22 to demand fairness for thousands of Zellers workers and countless Canadian communities. Since acquiring Zellers, Target has taken a Walmart-like approach to workers by refusing to respect the loyalty, experience and labour rights of Zellers workers. Target has told Zellers workers – even those with more than 30 years experience – that they will have to reapply for their same jobs, in the same locations, for starting pay and standards.
“I'm here to fight for fairness for Zellers workers,” said Zellers Worker Angela Rankin to the large group of demonstrators in front of Target Canada’s new, glitzy office tower. “Target came over and took our jobs away from us and that's just not fair. We're not dogs. We're not cats. We are human beings.” As reported in the Toronto Star, Rankin, along with all her coworkers, was recently fired from Zellers after 13 years of loyal, dedicated service.
Angela was joined by her son, Anthony, who told the crowd of supporters and activists that "Plain and Simple: Canadians are being targeted. Our industry and our people are being targeted. They are taking away our jobs. My mother lost her job because of corporate greed. We have to stand up. The young people have to stand up. We are the future. I will not let my mother be targeted. I will not let them target our Canadian identity.
Also in attendance were activists from UFCW Canada Locals 175 & 633, 206, 1000A and the National Office, along with Wayne Marston, the NDP MP for Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, and representatives from the CAW, CUPE, IATSE, Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), SEIU, Society of Energy Professionals, United Steeleworkers, and Workers Action Centre.
Wearing bright red t-shirts that said “Fairness for Zellers Workers NOW!, the demonstrators blew whistles, called out for Target to “Do the Right Thing”, and personally signed letters to Target CEO Tony Fisher demanding fairness for Zellers workers. OFL President Sid Ryan lead a delegation of demonstrators to Target’s front door where they hand delivered the letters to the American-based corporation.
“It is wrong to throw more than 10,000 people out of work. It is wrong to disregard the wages, benefits, seniority and the collective agreements these workers have achieved,” says UFCW Canada national representative Kevin Shimmin. “It is wrong for Target to hide behind these corporate offices and not take accountability for their actions. This is just the start of a movement and we will not rest until we get the respect for the Zellers workers in our communities.”
UFCW Canada is Canada's largest private-sector union and leading retail workers' union representing more than a quarter of a million workers across the country. Together with Zellers workers and community allies, UFCW Canada is leading the fight for fairness in Canada's retail industry through www.targetfairness.ca and other social justice campaigns.