A unionizing effort by workers at a Target store in New York failed in a lopsided 118-39 vote over the weekend.
It had been an unusual effort by about 200 front-line workers at a store on Long Island, who were considering whether to join the Food and Commercial Workers union Local 1500.
If successful, it would have been the only Target store in the nation where employees could undergo collective bargaining for wages, scheduling and other working conditions.
"This weekend's outcome confirms Target's long-standing belief that a culture of mutual respect, in which we listen to our team and resolve issues directly, will always be better for our team members than relying on a union intermediary," Target Corp. spokeswoman Jenna Reck said in an e-mailed statement. "We deeply value our store team in Huntington Station and want to thank them for their confidence in Target."
A previous unionizing attempt by hourly workers at another Long Island store, in Valley Stream, failed in June 2011 by a 137-85 vote. Target's pharmacy workers at a store in Brooklyn briefly succeeded in forming a micro union in 2015, but it came as the retailer had already sold its pharmacies to CVS.
A representative with the union said that while the vote didn't turn in its favor, the organizing effort had merit.
"The workers win no matter what happens," said Aly Waddy, a vice president with the UFCW Local 1500.
"If there's attention being drawn to the treatment they're experiencing, it'll make Target pay attention," Waddy said. "If we're part of changing the way they're being treated, as far as we're concerned we won."
Election results still must be certified by the National Labor Relations Board.