Union gets new chance for a vote at New York Target
- Article by: ANNE D'INNOCENZIO
- Associated Press
- May 21, 2012 - 9:17 PM
NEW YORK - An administrative law judge at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has overturned the unsuccessful union election last year at a Target store on New York's Long Island and ordered a new election, citing unfair labor practices.
The decision comes almost a year after Local 1500 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) contested the 137-85 vote against unionization in June 2011.
The union argued that Target illegally intimidated workers for months leading up to the vote.
Target denied the allegations.
A "yes" vote would have made the store Target's first with a unionized workforce. Target has 1,700 stores, all in the United States.
"Target completely poisoned the democratic process from day one," Patrick Purcell, assistant to the president of Local 1500, said in an interview. "And now a judge agreed with everything we said."
Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said late Monday that the company "respectfully" disagrees with the decision.
"We firmly believe Target followed all the laws throughout the union's campaign at its Valley Stream store and that the process leading up to the June 2011 election was fair and legal," she said.
The company is evaluating what steps to take next, she said, including an appeal to the full NLRB board.
The Valley Stream, N.Y., store was closed on April 28 for "extensive renovations" and will be reopened later this year, Snyder said.
The UFCW has contended the temporary closing came "in retaliation" for the unionization vote.
Target denies that, saying the remodeling was in the works for nearly two years.
The UFCW charged that, before last year's vote, Target barred employees from wearing pro-union buttons and said those who spoke about the union would be fired.
The union also said Target circulated fliers threatening employees that the Valley Stream store would be closed if employees voted to unionize.
The 40-page decision issued by Steven Davis, an administrative law judge for the NRLB in New York, said Target "engaged in certain unfair labor practices."
The ruling followed a 10-day trial earlier in the year.
© 2013 Star Tribune