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!