If recent reports from Target CEO Brian Cornell, the White House, Wall Street, and the Department of Labor were accurate indicators of the state of the economy or the quality of our jobs at Target we would be led to believe we’re living in a golden age of high wages, increased benefits, and low unemployment. But when we scratch the surface we find things are more like a new gilded age.
Target Corporation, like other major retailers, are keenly watching and responding to Jeff Bezos and the growing Amazon empire as they transform the retail industry. For Target workers, Amazon workers, and retail workers in general, this has meant a race to the bottom. Yet if you were to talk to the corporate heads and their media outlets they would never tell you the reality of what we workers face. This is why the media outlets name our very own Brian Cornell “top CEO” but fail to mention the toll taken on Target workers for him to get that designation.
One of the biggest themes that readers will see in our results is the lack of hours, the lack of time to complete expected tasks (unrealistic expectations), the lack of staff, the lack of resources and training for workers, lack of safety, and general feelings of being unappreciated and disrespected by the corporation, management, and even the customer base – much of this can be attributed to Target’s recent “modernization plan”. It’s our hope that the community recognizes the truth presented here based on our independent rank-and-file Target team member survey and that the community supports Target workers’ proposals to improve our stores not just for team members, but also the communities we serve.
Our survey project was formed by a committee of Target workers during the beginning of 2019 and conducted from March ‘19 to July ‘19 through a combination of word of mouth, going store-to-store, sharing in online Target worker forums and also using paid ads on social media. Through our efforts we reached over 500 Target team members across 44 states, with representation from a wide variety of job titles, ages, and experience.
People might be asking why did we do this survey in the first place? Target workers wanted an accurate view of what the rank and file workers of Target are dealing with overall. Workers felt the corporate “Best Team” survey does not result in improvement of our stores, our work conditions, or that workers are even being heard or have a say in the operations of Target, especially since workers are never shown the results of the corporate survey. What are we hoping to accomplish with the survey? We want transparency, we want honesty, we want to be heard and recognized without having Target Corporation’s PR team speak for and over us while peddling a fantasy to our communities.
Through our rank and file team member survey we also asked team members what changes need to be made to improve our stores and better serve our communities. Based on what our fellow team members across the country told us we created our very own Target Worker Platform reflecting those proposals and demand that Target Corporation adopt it.
This is not just an issue of some demands to improve our jobs, but for the corporation to rectify it’s policies so that Target workers can actually survive off our jobs. Over 75% of Target workers polled said their Target job is their only job, with the remaining 25% of workers trying to work two or more jobs while trying to balance unstable scheduling and still not making ends meet to provide for our families. A whopping 87% of team members said they CAN NOT survive on our Target jobs! We ask our fellow community members, Target guests, and the general public to stand with Target workers as we fight for justice, no longer allowing corporate and their funders on Wall Street to steamroll us in their “modernization” schemes as we struggle to get by.
When we compare our results to Target’s own diversity report we don’t see a huge difference, but one thing that does stand out is the lower you go within the Target hierarchy the more workers of color and working women you see.