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Valley Stream Target Store Workers Reject Unionization

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FILE - Shopping carts sit inside a Target store (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

FILE – Shopping carts sit inside a Target store (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

VALLEY STREAM, NY (CBSNewYork/AP) – Employees of a Target store in Valley Stream on Long Island have voted against joining the nation’s largest retail union.

The vote came in late Friday night. Workers voted 137-85 against unionization. A “yes” vote would have made the Valley Stream store the first Target in the country to be unionized.

But the union said it would press on and broaden its push to represent the company’s workers nationwide.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 also said it would contest the results and ask the federal government to order a new election, alleging that Target illegally intimidated workers. Target denied the union’s allegations.

WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports: Target Workers Vote Down Union

“Target did everything they could to deny these workers a chance at the American Dream,” said Bruce W. Both, president of United and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, in a statement. “However, the workers’ pursuit of a better life and the ability to house and feed their families is proving more powerful. These workers are not backing down from this fight. They are demanding another election.”

Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said the company acted legally.

“Target absolutely believes we have followed all the policies and procedures that are outlined by the National Labor Relations Board in a completely lawful manner,” Snyder said.

The union planned to begin a campaign called “Target: Democracy” at the company’s other 26 stores in the New York area and will begin coordinating a nationwide campaign with other union locals in major U.S. cities.

Since two-dozen workers from the Valley Stream store approached the union with their grievances regarding hours and pay in February, Target employees from around the country have been reaching out to the labor organization, according to Patrick Purcell, spokesman for the UFCW. The union consists of mostly grocery workers, but also represents employees at retailers that include clothier H&M.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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