Statement on the United For Respect organization

Some may have the impression that Target Workers Unite has been a project of the non-profit corporation known as United For Respect (formerly Organization United for Respect at Walmart or OUR Walmart). We rank and file Target workers issue this statement to clarify the relationship between Target Workers Unite and United For Respect (U4R). 


Target Workers Unite can find its origins in our first strike action in Christiansburg, Virginia at Target Store 1292. Local workers came together in August 2017 to strike against our ex-boss Daniel Butler, who had been engaging in sexual harassment and other reactionary behaviors towards Target workers. There was no formal relation between ourselves as rank and file Target workers and any union or non-profit organization. It was entirely an independent initiative created and led by workers committed to worker power in our community. Our first strike action was a success. The abusive boss was fired, and we won our case before the National Labor Relations Board, a case concerning illegal threats and intimidation of Target workers for going on strike and sustaining workplace organizing after the strike action in August 2017. 


In early 2018, staff from United For Respect contacted Target workers at Store 1292, inviting us to join and build a united front of retail workers — at least this is how it was presented to us. When first sitting down with U4R organizers and staff there were preliminary discussions about what organizing Target workers would look like. We had an idea of what that should be:

  • Establish a national newsletter and website for Target workers as a means to centralize our grievances and transmit a strategy and advocacy for workers to organize via shopfloor worker committees.
  • Avoid a traditional unionization campaign not centered on an NLRB union election process, instead using the right to concerted activity in the private sector to bring change directly on the shopfloor, building an independent worker organization to force concessions from management in any Target store. We refer to this orientation as SOLIDARITY UNIONISM

U4R told us that we were of like minds and that these were areas for collaboration. 


Working in good faith with U4R staff in 2018, our objective was a Target worker organizing committee with the resources to help recruit Target workers across the country. These efforts led to the first strike action in Baltimore. Workers from Target Store 1265 wanted to hold their racist and abusive management accountable, just as we had at Store 1292. We recounted our strike action and strategy to our fellow workers, and they too wanted to follow suit. Initially it seemed as if U4R was on board with this, flying out a paid organizer to help create a store committee and to plan for a strike action. But as we approached the projected strike date, the staff from U4R increasingly hesitated and discouraged us Target workers. They also tipped off store management by prematurely filing several NLRB and EEOC charges without consulting Target workers in the organizing committee. This allowed the corporation to preempt our efforts and contain disruption through an internal investigation that removed a few scapegoats. During this time, Target workers spent a tremendous amount of time networking with local community groups, unions, and media, building support for the impending strike action. We were cajoled by the U4R staff and directors to postpone or stop our strike action on at least three occasions, making us look unprofessional and unable to commit to plans made with these community groups in Baltimore. We believe the actions of U4R seriously diminished the turnout for our picket line and press coverage of the strike action. 

We pressed for a multiday strike action based on our prior strike and its success, but instead we were encouraged to do a short, symbolic one hour strike action. We were also encouraged to do a salesfloor disruption, action that is unprotected activity and grounds for legitimate discipline and/or termination by Target Corporation. We expressed reservations about this proposed disruption, since we knew we had no legal protection to do so, but we believed following through would establish that we are willing to work with U4R and collaborate towards bigger and better efforts. We were also told not to mention U4R to media or portray ourselves as connected in any way with U4R during this strike action. We finally followed through with this strike action, despite the setbacks from U4R staff, and it helped to galvanize community and worker support for subsequent strike actions in Baltimore. But to add insult to injury, after we Target workers managed to garner press coverage of our strike action at Store 1265 all on our own, U4R decided to use the media we produced in their own propaganda. This was tremendously upsetting to the Target workers at 1265. When we requested to discuss this issue via a letter of petition, U4R ignored our letter. This would not be the last time Target workers faced indifference and silence from U4R staff.

As this was happening, we crafted the first draft of a national Target newsletter by Target workers, as was agreed to by U4R staff. Once again we were discouraged, this time from printing or distributing the newsletter. Instead we were promoted to create a secret facebook group where the contents of the newsletter could be contained which would isolate its distribution. The U4R staff have repeatedly shown a conservative orientation toward Target workers doing anything other than follow the predetermined agenda made by staff without our consultation, without an open discussion of strategy and tactics for organizing Target workers. We were told on multiple occasions that having U4R associate with anything we did, whether it was a newsletter or a strike action, could jeopardize the legal status of U4R, fearing that Target would file an injunction against them. This is a fair concern. We are not reckless and do not promote reckless behavior, but U4R on the other hand has repeatedly encouraged Target workers to engage in reckless actions that have no legal protection and could easily result in the termination of Target workers.

Towards the end of 2018, U4R began to make it apparent that they had little interest in actually organizing Target workers to do anything substantial on the shopfloor. Instead it was apparent that U4R’s conception of organizing was to essentially turn workers into lobbyists, encouraging us to take action anywhere but the shopfloor. From a conservative viewpoint this makes sense, as it has the least amount of legal risk, but building real worker power is inherently risky and requires sacrifice that can only be accomplished by workers on the shopfloor. This strategy of fighting for policy change is one that takes the struggle out of the hands of workers and puts it in the hands of NGOs, legal professionals, and politicians.

The purpose of our collaboration with U4R was to enhance our efforts to organize Target workers and to build real independent working class organization that didn’t fall into the politics-as-usual routine of a traditional unionization drive or symbolic and impotent strike actions that we have seen with the SEIU-funded “Fight For $15” campaign. Unfortunately, we discovered that U4R does not move beyond these ineffectual forms of labor organizing but instead perpetuates them


We, the workers of Target, were extremely disillusioned with these repeated promises, backpedaling, and changes of mind. We were always thanked for “being flexible” and for understanding that U4R was in a “period of transition.” Frankly, we’ve never known U4R to not be in a “period of transition,” an apparent excuse to justify backdoor maneuvering that undermines our rank and file efforts. This is why we launched Target Workers Unite.

We concluded that U4R had no real intention to organize Target workers, especially when they ended their facilitated weekly committee calls for Target workers. We didn’t want our efforts to die. We have spent too much of our own time and money to stop just because an NGO lost interest. Over the course of the winter of 2018 we rebuilt momentum. Through our own efforts and persistence Target workers have reached out to us to help them fight back against their bosses. This is how our latest strike action in Baltimore developed at Store 1541. These workers called us personally asking for our help and when we presented the issue to U4R in the hopes of gathering more support we got silence once more, not even helping us to signal boost the strike action on their social media channels.


After launching Target Workers Unite, U4R staff again expressed interest in organizing Target workers. They asked to have access to the contacts we gathered. We agreed. Though we had reservations, we still hoped to create a mutually beneficial relationship between ourselves as Target workers and U4R, considering their resources and staffing. This led to the launch of the Target worker survey project. We crafted the questions, spent our own resources to boost the survey, getting results over a period of months with little-to-no resources provided by U4R. As we promoted the survey to Target workers across the country, we found U4R had edited our survey without consulting us. Though we presented the survey as anonymous to calm fears that Target workers would be identified by Target Corporation, U4R decided to ask for names, phone numbers, and other contact information, removing any sense of anonymity for target workers. We received angry responses from Target workers about being spammed with emails, texts, and phone calls from U4R staff. When we asked why this was done without our approval, we were given the vague answer “to build power,” but it appears that U4R’s only concern is to spam workers, souring relations with other Target workers we now have to work to overcome. Our power and organization hinges upon trust, but U4R has repeatedly destroyed trust among workers. 

It has been a difficult process for us to gather enough survey responses to have any claim of accuracy. We spent hundreds of hours reaching out to Target workers and hundreds of our own dollars to deliver the survey to other Target workers across the country. But before we could reach the necessary threshold for our survey, U4R organizers, without consulting the Target workers leading the project, called for the formation of a survey committee to process the results, appointed a non-Target worker to lead the committee, and removed us as administrators from the Facebook group that we had established. This was the final straw for us. It was evident that U4R-paid organizers were working to appropriate our efforts and contacts only to isolate and contain the workers who have been leading these efforts from day one. We sent a message to all Target contacts in our social media network, including the Facebook group, providing a short summary of U4R transgressions and a warning to other Target workers about what to expect when working with U4R. Not long after, we were banned from all U4R social media networks and lost access to our own survey. U4R paid organizers then sent a message claiming the survey was their property and that as “an act of good faith” they would transfer ownership to us, the Target workers. They portrayed us as reckless. They said that their strategy for a fair work week policy, in partnership with the NGO Fair Workweek Initiative — another front for the Center For Popular Democracy — would deliver qualitative change, even though their strategy only amounts to a media campaign and a few staged actions at Target Corporate offices.

The U4R strategy is based on the idea that they can pressure Target Corporation representatives into meeting with a few token workers. They want to present their fair workweek policy to persuade the corporation to adopt it without any real worker power on the shopfloor, without any real leverage to force concessions from the corporation. This appears to be a delusional strategy that has no concept of how demands are won by workers, but it only appears delusional if we fail to recognize the real aim of U4R and other NGOs and unions. They don’t want worker power, only the appearance of worker power mediated by paid staff reliant on philanthropists and foundations, which want nothing more than the “humane” exploitation of workers, not genuine worker power rooted on the shopfloor or the abolition of worker exploitation. Should we really be surprised that U4R undermines rank and file worker initiatives when their own directors have a history in the labor movement of stopping such rank and file initiatives at the behest of labor bureaucrats?

At U4R events, they give the impression that U4R is the reason wages have been raised at Walmart, but they only tell half-truths about these claims. They don’t mention that the wage increases at Walmart were paid for by laying off thousands of workers. If they claim victory for the wage increase, should they not also celebrate the job losses? A real sign of power and leverage for workers would entail a wage increase without mass layoffs, but we know that U4R doesn’t have that kind of power, and they aren’t working to construct it. At their gatherings they advocate for the “small circle group,” which is the closest they come to promoting shopfloor organizing, but according to U4R, a small circle group can be anything and can exist anywhere, a facebook group, a facebook chat, workers scattered across the country and not situated within a particular store. It is a completely hollow slogan. This kind of organizing hasn’t happened anywhere in their Walmart worker campaign. If they actually wanted shopfloor small circles or worker committees, they would have to spend the time and effort to actually train workers to be organizers on the shopfloor. They haven’t. Instead they take the workers out of the workplace to campaign and speak out on conditions everywhere but the shopfloor. They take the workers away from their community and coworkers, the place where workers can actually have influence and build working class power. 


We as Target Workers Unite do not claim to have built the sort of leverage necessary to win major concessions for Target workers nationally. We aspire to this power, and we are actively working towards this, but we can at least be honest about our capacities and intentions, claiming no easy victories. We understand that building leverage and power always stems from direct shopfloor action in our stores. We must build parallel organization by workers against each store management, who are counter-organizing workers to carry out the corporate agenda. We must teach our fellow workers that we and the bosses have no common interest, that our interest is worker democracy and worker control on the shopfloor. We must determine how things operate and are run at our stores, so that we can serve our communities. U4R and other NGOs and mainstream unions have no interest in this, instead perpetuating worker subordination to our corporate overlords — albeit mediated by the NGOs and unions. We must build genuine worker power that features working class independence from these bureaucratic institutions and their corporatism. This will only happen through militant struggle by the workers ourselves. The professionals won’t lead us to the promised land; only we can liberate ourselves. 

We as Target Workers Unite are skeptical of non-profit organizations and labor unions. They have a history of selling out workers. They prefer to cut deals with our corporate overlords for the sake of keeping the peace, for protecting the positions of well-paid labor bureaucrats who control these labor unions and non-profits, and for maintaining working relations with corporate executives. This phenomenon has come to be known as BUSINESS UNIONISM. These labor organizations function as an extension of control over workers for the interests of the bosses. These practices have resulted in decades of decline for the working class, who are forced into this new normal by taking on multiple part-time, precarious service sector jobs featuring unstable schedules, little-to-no employee benefits — including healthcare — and the various social problems that result from such conditions, including lack of access to good housing, education, and many other quality of life factors. Our current situation and its development was not a coincidence but a concerted effort by our corporate overlords and their lackeys in government and in the organizations that claim to represent workers. This decades-long process is what academics refer to as NEOLIBERALISM, a response to the economic recession of the 1970’s that signalled an end to the economic period of growth following World War II. During this period our corporate overlords attacked the standards of living for working class people through aggressive government and corporate policies that eroded the power of the working class and organized labor. They eliminated pensions, forcing workers to gamble their retirement on the stock market via 401Ks; busted unions, both in the public and private sector; cut contract deals with union leadership that tied the hands of workers with no strike clauses and two-tier systems; shrank the labor force by increasing labor productivity through intensified work expectations, the automation of production processes; and outsourced jobs to countries with more easily-exploited workers. All these policies were enacted in the private and public spheres with the aid of Democrat and Republican politicians, as well as the union leadership. This is still the case today; we still live in the era of NEOLIBERALISM and its labor strategy of BUSINESS UNIONISM. Our corporate overlords could not have achieved this without the complicity of the leadership of unions and labor organizations. Neoliberalism is not exclusive to the US; it is a global strategy and orientation used by capitalists, unions, and their governments to maximize profits by sucking the blood of workers until we die — and which is driving human civilization to the brink of collapse via ecocide. 

This statement is to serve as a testament and warning about the continued practices of BUSINESS UNIONISM under the era of NEOLIBERALISM from NGOs and unions and their top-down approaches to “organizing” workers. For real change we cannot look to these entities to take us forward, we must look to ourselves as workers and no longer settle for piecemeal reforms, but take the whole thing over.

The Struggle at Target Store 1541

On Monday, April 15th, Target workers at store 1541 located in Pikesville, Maryland launched a strike to demand Target Corporation fire their abusive store team lead (store manager) Kate Harley. Harley’s abuse entailed creating a hostile work environment where workers were afraid they would be disciplined or fired for petty reasons. Harley’s favoritism is well known among team members at store 1541, workers also live under the threat of constant surveillance as Harley sits in the AP office monitoring workers over the camera system. Along with this team members have seen a drastic cut in their hours, making it impossible to cover costs of living. We’ve even received reports from workers that Harley wouldn’t accommodate pregnant team members and took away their stools so they couldn’t sit down.

As a result, workers marched on the boss to deliver the strike notice. It was upon delivery of the strike notice we received our first and only direct interaction with management or corporate in reference to our demands. After giving notice, workers started the picket line at the store entrance. Unlike our prior strikes in which our rights were violated, management didn’t make any threats to drive us away. We maintained the picket line all the way to April 17th, when workers delivered a return-to-work notice, based on our assessment that Target Corporation was taking the testimonies of worker abuse seriously. Kate Harley had been removed since the start of the strike and there was word an investigation had been opened.

It was to our shock that we found Kate Harley permitted to return as store team lead the day after workers announced the formal end of their strike. Workers took this as a slap in the face by corporate, that they don’t care what’s happening to the rank and file workers in our stores. We responded by assembling a community picket line with Target workers from multiple Target stores and with community supporters. It was a morale boost for team members after seeing Harley return to the job. Harley fled the sales floor when she heard workers and community members at the entrance chanting “Kate Harley has got to go!”.

As things stand now, corporate is conducting an investigation and interviewing team members about their accounts of abuse. We aren’t surprised that Harley wasn’t immediately terminated. In both prior strike actions against racist and sexually-harassing bosses, even they were not immediately terminated, but only after the conclusion of the internal investigation launched by corporate HR. Despite the state of the struggle not resulting in the immediate termination of Harley, this action was a success in several regards.

  1. We showed coworkers we have the right to strike and that we will not be retaliated against for exercising those rights. Not one worker who has gone on strike in our group has been terminated for exercising their rights.
  2. We showed coworkers solidarity and mutual aid are real, their strike fund was a success, all coworkers who went on strike received funds that covered more than their lost wages and many community members refused to shop at the store as we maintained the picket line.
  3. Since we have won multiple NLRB settlements against Target for violating our rights to organize and strike Target has now conceded (for now) over access to space we are entitled to, (such as parking lots, store entrances, the break room, and other non-work areas at the store)
  4. This was the first time Target workers have come together across multiple stores in the Baltimore area to link up and network so we can better support each other in our community. As a result of the strike we’ve had multiple Target workers from other local stores reach out wanting to get involved.

We have to view the struggle at store 1541 moreso as a beginning rather than an end. These team members reached out to us asking for help. We are here to support any Target coworker struggling with the conditions Target Corporation forces on us. All you need is the will to fight back and demand our fair share, we will always be there to step up and help out. We will build worker power one strike at a time and the strikes don’t have to be a majority of team members at a given store to be successful, as we have demonstrated in our prior strikes which have removed abusive bosses from our workplaces.

The “modernization” plan remains one of the most pressing issues affecting team members across stores. This has resulted in shorter hours and increased workloads as our paychecks remain roughly the same or smaller. In order for Target workers to get what we need – such as full benefits and a living wage – we will have to organize and coordinate nationally for mass strikes to force concessions from Target Corporation. The holiday season and the 4th quarter is the most crucial time for the executives and major shareholders to realize profits, a mass strike by Target workers during this time could be a decisive blow if we build enough unity between team members and stores across the country.

For those who feel such action is impossible, we would like to point towards the heroic struggles of our public school teachers across the country under conditions which were entirely unfavorable to them. They were in right-to-work states where state employees have no right to strike, join a union, or engage in collective bargaining, yet they organized through social media and facebook groups outside the normal channels of unions and non-profits, broke the law, got away with it and won their demands. If our teachers in our communities can do this when they have no protected rights to do so, why can’t we as Target team members when we already have more rights and protections than our teachers do?

We know there is a long way to go to organize and mobilize each other to engage in mass strikes and win major concessions from Target, but it’s a process, not a singular event. We have to work up towards larger scale actions by educating and demonstrating to our coworkers that we all can do this as ordinary people. In fact, it’s NECESSARY we do so, because the conditions are only getting worse. Walmart, Amazon, and Target are all competing with one another and using us workers to try to corner the market. No matter which one of these corporations win we are guaranteed workers will lose. We have to reverse this historic trend of degrading conditions for US workers. Our communities are suffering from poverty forced upon us by these same corporations who devalue our work and convince the general public their community members who work these stores don’t deserve to live decent lives and support our families.

We have to get respect and we won’t get it unless we fight for it. We can get our needs met, the money is there, we as the workers make these corporations their profits, we only allow them to keep those profits because we choose to not to demand respect. We hear from many coworkers that they take pride in their work, but what we need is coworkers to take full pride in our work and demand we be fairly compensated for the sacrifices we coworkers make to keep these stores running.

The future is bright, we can move mountains when we come together, build unity with each other and fight together to win respect and dignity for each other. We see what happens when we all operate as individuals and do what corporate and management tells us. We are forced to scramble and compete against one another, to out-hustle one another in the hopes we get a few more scraps, but if we come together and get organized we can make things better for all of us, instead of just a few. Take pride in your labor! Demand nothing less than full benefits and a living wage! It’s the least we are entitled to as the ones who keep these corporations alive! Get involved!


Pikesville, MD: Target team members at store #1541 have returned to work after a two-day strike over abusive treatment perpetrated by Store Team Lead (store manager) Kate Harley. Since Harley has taken over as the new store manager she has created a hostile work environment where team members (TMs) live in fear of intimidation, spying, and retaliation.

Because of the collective action of Pikesville Target team members and their workers committee an investigation has been launched and has resulted in the removal of STL Kate Harley. Team members (TMs) await Target Corporation’s decision to fire STL Harley for her abusive actions towards Pikesville Target team members. TMs still demand respect on the job and the right to a workplace that is hostility-free. TMs also demand zero retaliation on TMs who’ve written testimonies, gone on strike, and united together to form an independent workers committee as protected by the National Labor Relations Act.

Over the past two days team members have witnessed a tremendous outpouring of community support. Many community members refused to cross the picket line and honored our strike and call for a community boycott. Striking Pikesville Target team members also gained new testimonials from current and former team members recounting instances of abuse and labor violations. This included current team members who are pregnant. These team members HAVE NOT been properly accommodated, even having their chairs taken away which they used to take breaks as needed. Another former team member came forward sharing her and other TMs experiences who had been abused, unjustly disciplined, and fired by STL Harley at her last Target store in Colombia, Maryland. The community has also shown solidarity by helping raise funds to recover lost wages for striking Target team members.

Pikesville Target team members and community supporters are ready to take further action to ensure abusive boss Kate Harley is removed from the Pikesville Target store and will remain on standby if Target Corporation does not comply with TMs and the community’s demand to fire Kate Harley and ensure a hostility-free workplace.

Target Team Members at Store 1541 are on Strike!

Team Members @Target 1541 in Pikesville, Maryland are on strike!

Pikesville, MD – Target team members at store #1541 are on strike over disrespect and abuse perpetrated by their Store Team Lead Kate Harley. Since STL Kate has taken over workers are now stressed out both on and off the job because of her conduct, creating a hostile work environment where team members face intimidation, spying, and false accusations by STL Kate.

“Kate has been destroying Target ever since she started here. I come to work everyday stressed and worried if I can pay my bills and maintain my life with this job.”

-Pikesville Target team member Nikolas Mosby

Team members don’t feel they can trust the internal channels Target Corporation provides to hold someone in a position of power like STL Kate accountable for their actions. Team members know that STL Kate and District Manager Ryan are friends, this is a conflict of interest concerning her abuse and disrespect of rank and file team members. These team members have provided multiple testimonies (see below) on the work conditions under STL Kate, they are fed up with this treatment and demand she be fired from Target Corporation immediately!

“She is extremely retaliatory, and will go to any length to get her way. I absolutely do not trust her as a leader, and constantly feel that I am being targeted”

anonymous Pikesville Target team member

Target team members will remain on strike and are enacting a community boycott of Target Store #1541 effective immediately until their demands are met by Target Corporation. We are asking all team members and supporters across the country to show solidarity and call the Target Integrity Hotline to demand Target meet the demands of team members at store 1541!

Call 1-800-541-6838 or send an email to Target team members are making a huge sacrifice by going on strike, including losing their pay. This time of year is very difficult for team members financially as our hours are slashed, every shift we are scheduled is crucial to cover our costs of living. If you are able please consider making a donation to the strike fund. Stay tuned for more updates on the strike!

Store 1541 Team Member Testimonies:

Rank and File Target Team Member Survey!

We’ve launched our own Target team member survey! Target Corp’s ‘Best Team Survey’ has been seen as ineffective and not truly anonymous for team members to take without fear of being retaliated against for speaking the truth. So team members from across the country have come together to craft our very own rank and file Target team member survey. Please take this survey and share it with your in-store team members! We’ll publish the results to show how Target team members truly feel about the job and what workplace conditions are really like. It’s actually anonymous, we won’t share your personal info with Target Corp or sell it off to third parties. We want the executives and our communities to know what we are dealing with corporate-wide and use these results to help make change and improve conditions for Target team members.

Click here to take the survey now!

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

11947983 - stress meter showing  panic attack from stress and worry

“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!