Veteran POG Team Member Speaks Out from Store #2070

Fellow Target team member Lisa Piko Wahl has over a decade of commitment to the company and the Grove City community she serves!

Fellow Target Team Member Lisa Piko Wahl is a 10 year veteran who currently works POG/Pricing at Target store #2070 in Grove City, Ohio. We interviewed her to learn more about what’s going on at her store and how it relates to all Target stores across the country.

TWU: Lisa, having worked for Target for so long what are the biggest changes you’ve seen over the years?

Lisa: When I started 10 years ago, Target was a fun place to work. Presentation Team Members worked Monday through Friday (except for 4th quarter) and got 40 hours/week almost every week except for a few slow weeks in February and June. I was the only member of POG who worked part-time hours (my choice). Target was proud to be “Family Friendly” and hired some people as full-time. TL’s happily adjusted the schedule if you had an important family event.

When POG workload was small, you were encouraged to cross train and then you could pick up hours in another work center. We knew ahead of time which weeks would have low hours. Now team members will be scheduled 38 hours one week and then get 12 hours the next week. We’ve been told that “nobody is full-time except management.” It’s tough on people who live paycheck to paycheck when you don’t have a reliable income.

Executives don’t seem to understand this. Their standard response is, “We can’t add any hours. Check the swap board.” In the past 3 years or so there have been increasingly more low hour weeks despite our store meeting or surpassing sales goals. Another big change is the workload. It seems like every day we’re asked to add more responsibilities to our day and still get everything finished “100%” and clock out on time. It is so incredibly stressful!

TWU: Do you think Target has changed for the better?

Lisa: In some ways, yes, but mostly no. I think Target kind of turned the retail world on its head when it forged partnerships with top designers. Some collections have sold out in hours. Quite a risk but this endeavor generated a lot of good publicity (and sales!) for Target.

Target has created some great store brands that are selling well. Another good change came as corporate invested money in remodeling stores across the nation (you can read more here).

With all of the good that has happened in the last 10 years there have been plenty of changes that aren’t working and are hurting morale.

There’s a poster hanging in our Team Member area that says “Fail fast.” I take it to mean that if you try something and it doesn’t work out, then move on. Don’t keep investing time and resources on a failed endeavor. Target has made some major changes in store processes and has even eliminated entire teams at some stores. It’s added a lot of stress, confusion and quite honestly made it more difficult to get things done. Team members are expected to tackle more tasks than ever during their shifts.

During the busy holiday season, our store would routinely not schedule a cart attendant until late afternoon. Some days there was only one cashier for the whole morning. That means that team members not only have to complete tasks in their work centers but some days they also have to take part in a cart scramble once (or twice) each day, respond to back up at check lanes, provide great guest service, help answer phones and participate in a “smart huddle” usually pushing either One Spot or frozen product in market. A member of the POG team not only has to be prepared to do all of the above but also has to set their planograms, remove re-shop and clearance, pull and push their batches, do price accuracy, take care of the backstock, print signs, create an EXF batch for any outs, pull and push that…and…sometimes cover breaks and lunches for other work centers. When the store is busy it’s extremely difficult to get everything done while keeping the guests first.

Target used to accept new hires no matter how varied their availability. Now an applicant must have totally open availability or they won’t be hired. It’s difficult to plan your life if you don’t know from week to week what shift you’ll be working or how many hours that you’ll get. I’m fortunate that I already had my limited availability approved a long time ago so my schedule doesn’t change much (I want to be home when my kids get home from school.)

Corporate seems to be increasingly laser focused on cutting payroll. Even though our store rocketed past the sales goal for Black Friday and we had tons of guest traffic all season, hours were still cut in the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas. There were so many times that we didn’t make a sale because there weren’t enough people scheduled to keep up with OPU, Drive-up, truck unload and push, re-shop and backstock. There were whole pallets just sitting in the backroom that never made it to the sales floor.

A good portion of that product went salvage without a guest ever having a chance to purchase it. It seems to me that adding payroll would have kept the store better stocked so that we could have had even greater sales. One last change that has been both good and bad. Target raised the starting wage- Good! But then Target cut hours for a lot of team members- Very Bad! Essentially many team members made more money at a lower wage because they got more hours. A raise that leads to a cut in pay?!?!? That’s incredibly sad.

TWU: What issues have you and your Team members been dealing with lately?

Lisa: With team members getting fewer hours, average hours have fallen and the few people who have insurance are in danger of losing it. (When Obamacare rolled out, Target made changes that made fewer team members eligible for health benefits.) Morale is the lowest that I’ve ever seen it. People joke that we met our sales goal company wide so we get to wear jeans. Executives get big monetary bonuses. Such a disparity!

The team leads at the store don’t address issues that are concerning team members. They say that all of the changes are from corporate and that there is nothing they can do about it. It is what it is. We have no information about upcoming changes, just that there will be changes so “be prepared.”

TWU: You’ve mentioned before that you and other team members approached management about issues in the store, were made promises and yet things stayed the same. Why do you think that is?

Lisa: This is a difficult question to answer. STL’s and ETL’s probably feel a lot of pressure to meet goals set by corporate but I don’t understand why they don’t stand-up for the people who work in the store. After all, we are called “Team Members” not “employees” so you would think that those in charge would act in the best interests of the team. Honestly I think that the people at the top don’t have a clear understanding of what life is like for hourly team members and their attitudes flow down to the store level. Let me explain a little more in depth. On September 25, 2017, Target announced that wages would be raised to $15 by the end of 2020 (you can find the news release here.)

What is not mentioned in the news release is that the first pay bump took place right before the holidays (great incentive to get people to fill out applications for seasonal work.) New hires started at $11/hour and team members making less than that were bumped up to $11. Those of us already making $11 or a little more kept the same pay rate. You don’t feel very respected or appreciated if you’ve worked hard for over 8 years, cross-trained for other work centers and you keep the same pay when team members with 3 months experience get $1 raise.

When veteran team members talked to the HR ETL and other ETL’s, we were told to “hang in there”. The word from corporate is that you’ll be taken care of when reviews happen.” When April rolled around and reviews were given, I earned a 33 cent raise (which unbelievable as it sounds is a “great” raise by Target standards.) My raise took my hourly rate to $12.08. News hires are now at $12. Veterans had been told that we would get our raises on top of the bump but that turned out to not be true. So essentially I got an 8 cent raise for doing a great job all year and new team members got a $1 raise just because.

TWU: After seeing what team members can accomplish with Target Workers Unite do you think it is important for more team members to get involved? Why?

Lisa: Alone we are having a difficult time being heard but as a group, as a TEAM, we can make the work environment a better place while keeping Target on the road to success.

TWU: So you think it’s important for fellow team members to get organized?

Lisa: Absolutely! If all Team members stood together, Corporate would be more inclined to take our concerns seriously. Maybe even other retailers would take a closer look at how their employees are treated and make changes for the better.

TWU: What would you say to team members who are afraid of getting in trouble for exercising their labor rights?

Lisa: There’s an old country song that says, “You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” To the new hire I ask, “Did you believe that you would get the same 35-40 hours that you got when you were training?” To the veteran I ask, “Do you believe that your review will result in the raise that you deserve?” Let’s stand together with courage. Let’s stay positive and look to the future.

If you agree with our fellow team member Lisa then reach out to us and get involved! Target team members will make Target jobs good jobs!

Pregnant and Homeless, Fellow Target Team Member at Store #1265 Needs Our Help!


Our fellow Target team member Callie at Store #1265 and her partner are expecting, yet they’re facing a struggle many of us coworkers also share, and that’s access to affordable housing. We’re calling on all Target team members to help out, even if it’s just resharing this story to coworkers, family members and friends. We know this time of year is very tough for team members as Target executives slash hours and increase our workloads. Many of us are scrambling to get enough hours, even picking up yet another part time job to pay the bills and support our families. We will link at the bottom of this page to an online fundraiser to help our fellow team member Callie and her baby secure housing. Please reshare and make a small contribution if you can!

TWU: Callie, how did you all find yourselves without a home?

Callie: Growing up wasn’t the easiest, I was living with my parents who were thousands and thousands of dollars in debt, but they did what they could to provide for me and my siblings. With that being said, I started working around 14 years old and haven’t gone without a job or paycheck since. I started taking care of myself for the most part around then too, and that included paying for my own necessities and bills. As I reached the age of 17 I wasn’t living at home, but staying with friends. I’ve gone from house to house trying to stay afloat for as long as I can, helping out in anyway I could. But as I got older, bills got higher, and harder to pay. I’ve always managed to find a way to get by, but now with a baby on the way, approaching fast at that, there is no more I am able to give. My boyfriend and I do all we can to save and only spend when necessary. This has put the both of us at a standstill, plus with the government shut down currently it’s making it harder to get government assistance and help.

TWU: How much does Target have to do with your financial difficulties?

Callie: Hours are never regular and vary week to week. Some weeks you can have a solid 35-40 hours, but other weeks will plummet to 17-25 when you are supposedly “full-time.” Target has even gone out of their way to change the way they function and now says “no employee is considered full-time.” Even trying to pick up an extra shift here or there only does so much. When you’re sick or have to miss a day they act as if the whole store will come crashing down without you, and this can cost you your job.

TWU: Are they helping you at all during your pregnancy?

Callie: No. I’ve even made requests to be moved from certain areas or have said I’m not able to do certain things anymore and it took me being injured at work and having to file an incident report for them to finally move me. Im lucky me or my unborn baby weren’t injured.

TWU: How will you deal with the issue of pay or lack thereof while on maternity leave?

Callie: I do get 6-8 weeks paid and might be able to apply for an additional 2, but after that there isn’t any pay at all. I had to qualify for this, but they also will only pay me my average amount of hours, which has plummeted since November. About 10 hours to be exact. I wouldn’t necessarily blame Target for the short 6-8 weeks pay entirely, but also the way the United States handles our maternal care. I’m not sure how I will be able to deal with this though. My only solution would be to come back to work as soon as I am fully healed and have someone to watch my child. I don’t know what I would do if I was a single mother in this predicament. My partner is working full-time and it still may not be enough to rely only on his pay check while I’m off.

TWU: Will your partner be able to have any paternity leave?

Callie: At the moment, no. I’m sure he will get some days off to stay with me in the hospital and spend time with the baby and I after she is born, but it is not paid. So he most likely will return to work as soon as she is born.

TWU: Did you know we are one of only three countries in the world without paid maternity leave? Why do you think that is?

Callie: I did actually, which I don’t understand. All mothers and fathers should have the right to take care of their child and be paid while on leave. And a livable income at that. I don’t understand how people expect you to get by without a pay check, especially with a new addition to the family. A newborn baby is very, very expensive.

TWU: How could Target executives help your family through all of this?

Callie: Be more supportive, and lenient on pregnant working mothers. Accommodate their needs, and understand what our bodies are going through. They need to realize there are major, dramatic changes going on some of us have never experienced before. I’m lucky enough to have been in great physical shape before my pregnancy so I wasn’t put on bed rest. I also wasn’t diagnosed with preeclampsia or gestational diabetes due to this, so I was able to work a lot longer then a lot of mothers out there.

TWU: Why do you think they don’t help team members such as yourself?

Callie: It’s all about staying within a budget and getting a bonus at the end of the year. A bonus none of us hard-working employees receive, but maybe a .50 cent raise yearly.

TWU: Do you think Target respects pregnant workers?

Callie: Im not sure about Target as a whole. With my store specifically it depends who your ETL is. Our previous ETL was very accommodating with my pregnant coworkers at the time, letting them sit and take breaks when needed, but now things have changed and I’m not sure if it was for the better.

TWU: What do you think the answer is to this issue of being a pregnant worker who is struggling to find affordable housing and what duty do you think Target executives have to you and other pregnant workers?

Callie: If they were more accommodating and helpful it would help end hunger and homelessness, especially for mothers who work full-time or even part-time, and do everything they can to give back. I wish they did more for us, even if we don’t fall in the middle class or higher. Those of us under the poverty line need help raising our babies too. How do you expect homelessness and hunger to end if no one is willing to help those in need, even when we are doing all we can to provide for ourselves and our children?

Please reshare this story and consider making a small contribution to our fellow team member Callie and her baby here

Senior SFS Team Member Speaks Out from Store #2320

(editor’s note: we interviewed our fellow Target team member Joseph Viramontez who is a six year veteran with mega backroom skills currently working at Target store #2320 in Dickinson, Texas. Joseph is engaging in protected concerted activity by speaking out on his team’s work conditions and what they want to see changed in-store and corporate-wide)

Fellow Target team member Joseph with his son

We heard you and your fellow team members were having trouble with Target Corporation and your in-store management, could you go into more detail about what those problems are?

Joseph V: My entire store’s morale is in the gutter. We have issues with scheduling and communication. Not hours wise, but more of breaking OSHA regulations. Team members are always scheduled in ways where they get no time to rest or it goes completely against their school schedules. Sometimes  team members only get four hours in between shifts. As far as communication goes there’s no knowing exactly what we’re supposed to do for the day. Come in during the midday and your morning Lead On Duty will assign tasks, then your Team Lead will give you more. It gets extremely confusing for newer team members and causes a huge mess in our back room. And don’t even get me started on the poor leadership at my store. It’s so bad we’re almost a month behind in freight right now. Thousands in toys just sitting in the back.

How long have you been a Target team member?

Joseph V: I have been a team member for just about six years. I’ve worked every piece concerning Logistics. Currently I am the Senior SFS TM and I have been in SFS for three years.

So you’ve been around long enough to see how things have developed and changed form when you first started, what are some of those changes you’ve noticed over the years?

Joseph V: As time has gone by I’ve noticed how little the company cares for it’s employees. They want them to constantly do more with less resources while not seeing the stress they put on their employees. It’s almost as if we’re in a toxic relationship with the company, and I say that because management will often gaslight their best assets for things already out of their control. The more the store “modernizes” the worse it gets.

Do you think Target protects bad bosses?

Joseph V: Yes. In a straight and simple answer. I’ve had racist and sexist bosses. Even when an entire team has gone to report it, nothing is done. Instead they get promotions, putting them in better situations to get their way and manipulate team members until eventually no one questions their authority. All because that leadership is “brand”.

You’ve said that you and coworkers have tried to through the internal channels Target provides to no avail, what do you think is the answer to getting these issues addressed?

Joseph V: We need to finally step up and say something. We have this yearly best team survey that is supposed to help corporate get an inside feel for each team, but instead of following up with the team members, corporate will always go to leadership who will say what corporate wants to hear versus what’s needed to be said. We don’t have a voice, and we need one. A single message that says we’re through being mistreated. We love the jobs we do, otherwise we wouldn’t have stayed for so long! There’s still hope even now when it’s at it’s worst.

What do you think needs to happen to make Target jobs good jobs?

Joseph V: The jobs aren’t that bad in my experience. It’s the “leadership”. They all want to be corporate pleasers vs doing the things to make the company more successful. They’re trying so hard to be the BEST everything store. They forget that happier team members work harder. Help us and we help you! We matter. We’re the biggest moving part. And if we all stopped one day then they would see. Hopefully things don’t have to go that far. We just want to be heard. We want to be taken care of.

After 16 Years Target Team Lead is Fed Up

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“I’ve been with the company for 16 years. Been a lead for 6 years. This year, this job has given me serious anxiety that I have never had before with this company. I want to lead and develop a team to perform at the highest level but the expectations and capacity to complete all the tasks this company wants is absolutely unrealistic. It makes me feel like a failure and a heartless leader having to judge an employee who has been there for 3 months based on an employee with years of experience.

Basically if they aren’t perfect at the beginning, they are gone. And guess what, you are not going to find perfect at $12 an hour working 25 hours a week. Everyday feels like a chaotic mess even when you make plans. Some changes are great but the means to make the process flawless needs some major reform. I contemplate leaving this job daily. I am just going to use all 250+ hours of my vacation before I do it because I have earned it and they aren’t going to give it to me if I leave.”

– A Target Team Lead in Georgia

If you are tired of the way things are and want to make Target jobs good jobs get in touch with us here!

Victory for Target Workers at Store #1265!


This past July Target team members at Target store #1265 began to organize and formed a workers committee to hold their abusive and racist STL accountable by demanding his termination as they went on strike. They won their demand, yet the in-store management tried to retaliate on Target team members for exercising their rights. As a result the Cockeysville Target team members filed charges with the NLRB and as the above letter indicates they won their case.

The following interview is with the lead organizer Erica Feldenzer of the Target workers committee at store #1265:


TWU: So earlier this year you and some other Target team members at Target # decided to go on strike against your racist boss and you were successful in holding him and others accountable for abusing fellow team members. What has happened since then?

Erica F: we were successful in getting 6 to 7 managers fired or forcing them to quit the store. Since then there have been many managers replaced and some similar issues have come up, but we were able to resolve some of the more glaring examples of discrimination in the workplace. One of the managers at the store that we protested against is still working here and there’s been several complaints filed against him at the level of corporate and they still haven’t fired him or reprimanded him.

TWU: We see that your new STL sent a personal letter to you assuring you and your team members they won’t retaliate anymore for exercising your labor rights. Why do you think it was important to file a charge with the NRLB over this?

Erica F:  I think it was important to file a charge with the NLRB over interrogation, demotion, and surveillance because this contributes to setting a precedent for people in positions of power to not abuse said power in violation of the rights of their workers. Furthermore, it gives other workers in similar situations the hope that they can use their voice to speak out against abuses of power in the workplace.

TWU: Where do you see things going from here? Do you plan to keep exercising your rights to make Target jobs better jobs?

Erica F: As long as I work at Target and even after leaving this job I will continue to challenge the norms of bad behavior and abuses of power in retail. Ignorance is bliss and if we can disturb said bliss we can start to do the real work and give working class people sustainable jobs and financial security.

TWU: What would you say to all the other team members out there who may be scared to exercise their rights?

Erica F: While I won’t deny that it is scary to face your oppressors, things will continue to get worse if you remain silent in the face of oppression. Find other workers that have similar feelings and make sure that you can build a strong support system within your workplace that can support you in facing these difficult dilemmas.

If you are fed up with the lack of respect and compensation from Target Corp we want to hear from you! Send us a message here and read up on how you can unite with the rest of us Target team members who are committed to making Target jobs good jobs!