Toronto – June 10, 2013 – Target workers, former Zellers employees, and community allies from Canada and the United States are set to rally at Target’s Annual General Meeting, held this year in Denver, Colorado on June 12.
Leading the way is former Zellers worker Angela Rankin, who is making the journey from Toronto to Denver to rally with the group of Target employees, retail worker advocates and community members from across North America. Together with fellow demonstrators and supporters, Angela is looking forward to a direct conversation with Target shareholders on the importance of corporate social responsibility, and Target’s failure to respect the rights and earned living conditions of retail workers in Canada and around the world.
The rally is set to begin at noon on June 12, with workers engaging in a number of actions to demand the company’s attention. Rally organizers are also calling on retail workers throughout North America to support the action by tweeting their support and spreading the word about Target’s socially irresponsible behaviour, #Target #RetailRespect.
Angela and other retail workers will be asking the company’s senior managers for honest responses to the following questions:
- Why has Target refused to respect the loyalty, service and experience of more than 25,000 Canadian workers, who were all terminated when Target purchased Zellers from the Hudson Bay Company? In contrast, Walmart gave workers the opportunity to continue working when the company entered Canada during the 1990s.
- Sensing the outrage of Canadians, Target promised to give Zellers workers an interview – to do the same job, at the same store, but for starting pay. But, to date, Target Team Members in Canada report that only 1 percent of their coworkers are former Zellers staff. Why is Target misleading Canadians and Canadian retail workers about the company’s commitment to social responsibility and fairness?
- Target Canada has quietly hired a lobbying firm with close links to the Conservative Party. The lobbying firm states that Target is lobbying against federal regulations requiring voluntary compliance with rules regarding ethical sourcing of foreign goods. In contrast, Target’s competitors such as Loblaw and H&M recently signed a binding international accord requiring mandatory health and safety inspections of source factories. Why is Target paying a professional lobbyist to make sure it doesn’t have any commitments to global health and safety standards, international workers and their families?
- The National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Target committed serious violations of the Labor Relations Act when it busted a union organizing campaign by Team Members in Long Island, New York. The NLRB has ordered a second certification vote. Target must also revise their employee handbook in all U.S. stores to comply with the Labor Relations Act. Why is Target actively trying to stop its employees from joining the union?
- Cleaners at Target stores have been unionized with SEIU. However, the employer that Target has contracted-out out for cleaning services is refusing to recognize the union. As a result, these cleaners will be going on a three-day strike and bringing their message to the Target shareholders. Why is Target allowing their contractor to deny the collective bargaining rights of the people who ensure Target stores are clean and safe for customers and Team Members?