HomeEconomic IssuesWOW! Target’s New Anti-Union Propaganda May Be Worse Than Walmart’s (Video)

WOW! Target’s New Anti-Union Propaganda May Be Worse Than Walmart’s (Video)

Target is one of the more undermentioned examples of worker treatment in America today. According to Ralph Nader in a November 11 2013 blog post, like Walmart, Target pays its workers a poverty level wage. However Target’s CEO, Gregg Steinhafel, makes almost $14,000 per hour–that’s $3,000 per hour more than Walmart CEO Mike Duke!

Like Walmart, many of Target’s employees are forced to resort to safety nets like SNAP, housing assistance, Medicaid, and EITC. In other words, Target is just another corporate Welfare Queen.

Needless to say, Target is absolutely petrified of unions.

When a New York Target attempted to unionize in 2011, management responded with some pretty frightening anti-union propaganda. Filled with frightening statements like “The rules are designed to let union bosses control the members and their money,” and “If you break any rule you could be put on TRIAL before the union bosses,” and “There are no guarantees [that the store won't close if workers unionize]” followed by statistics on companies that have closed the doors rather than allow workers to fight for fair treatment.

A number of workers have spoken out, offering stories of employees being locked inside the store while clocked out and having to wait until management released them, and other repugnant treatment.

Now, Target has updated its anti-union training video–and it’s one of the worst things you will ever see.

Meet Ricardo and Dawn, the hip young Target anti-union propagandists! It’s their job to walk new employees through the dark and scary world that is the encroaching threat of unions to take away their freedoms and kill puppies (or is it take away their puppies and kill freedoms?).

Dawn highlights the fun “open-door” policy and explains that if a union comes in, that all will probably end. The dictatorial union bosses will force employees to sacrifice their ability to even maintain day-to-day communications with management without union involvement.

“But if the unions did try to organize our team members, chances are they would change our fast, fun and friendly culture,” Dawn adds later. That’s right–if you bring in a union, happy fun time is over!

In fact, union rules might keep you from helping customers! If the rules say that you can’t work outside your department and a customer stops you in the store, your only option is to rudely tell a customer that you can’t help them and walk away. There is no other alternative, like helpfully taking that customer to someone who can, or anything. Union involvement kills your ability to be a good employee! “You actually have to tell that guest ‘Sorry, I can’t help you’,” Ricardo explains, “Imagine how she’d feel when you refused to help her and how you would feel because of her reaction. And the company would suffer–because if this guest can’t get immediate attention, she might decide not to come back. So everyone gets hurt. Everyone except the union.”

The video warns that jealous unions “want what we have.” Why? What is so wonderful about Target that unions fear it so? “We’re a target, because unions are threatened by us. And here’s why: when we take business away from retailers that are unionized, those companies may downsize, reducing the number of employees. And that means the union loses members, which is a big problem for the union business. Did you notice how I just called it a business? Because that’s what it is.”

That’s right, Target employees! Those big scary businesses known as unions are just trying to keep the multibillion corporation (read: “little guy”) down!

Besides, if you don’t like how you’re treated at Target and the union goes on strike it might affect business! “You could come into work one day to find union protesters telling our guests not to shop at Target,” Dawn says. “And how could that possibly be good for anyone on our team?”

Ricardo adds that unions “can and do try to threaten our stores, trying to scare our guests into shopping somewhere else.” Those terrorists! “How could that possibly be good for anyone on our team? We depend on guests for our jobs.” Dawn asks.

After almost ten minutes of scary misrepresentations of unions and veiled threats, the “warnings” begin. Unions are going to try to trick or threaten you into signing up.

If you join a union, you lose the legal right to speak to management about anything. The union will do that for you, and it doesn’t represent your views. Unions are, after all, just gigantic corporations who want to exploit you–completely unlike Target.

“All those open doors may have to close” if a union comes to town, warns Dawn.

If one of those scary union people approaches you, Dawn encourages you to talk to management. They’ll set you straight.

Get ready for the most awful fifteen minutes of your life!

h/t: Gawker

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About John Prager

John Prager
John Prager is an unfortunate Liberal soul who lives uncomfortably in the middle of a Conservative hellscape and likes to refer to himself as an "island of reason in a sea of insanity." While he is not a fan of politicians, period, he has developed a deep-seated hatred for the bigotry, fear mongering, and lies of the Right Wing. John also works as a warden at one of Barry Soetoro's FEMA re-education camps and as a HAARP weather control coordinator. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions or comments.
  • Daniel

    Just a fyi, this is basically an update to the same training video they have been presenting their leadership team for at least a decade. And for those anti union people out there, target just cut health benefits for their part time team members.

    • https://plus.google.com/102236440597389443581 Paul Hoogeveen

      This is more or less the same required “training” message Best Buy bombards its employees with regularly. Had to deal with this crap during a part-time stint I did for Geek Squad.

  • http://polyfeministix.wordpress.com trishcorry

    Any business who is too scared to negotiate and hear the collective voice of the workers through the union, has something to hide and does not respect the workers they employ. It shows that Target believe they can set the price and conditions of which they purchase the labour owned by the worker. It seems Target doesn’t believe the worker has any right to set conditions or value on the valuable skills they own as an individual. It seems Target does not believe that the knowledge, skills and abilities owned by the worker is a valuable commodity that they purchase from the worker as a resource to be used to improve their business. Target seems to believe that workers should be honoured to impart with their knowledge skills and abilities for some type of giving program to the benefit of the Target shareholders and management. I will never shop at Target again.

  • Marty

    Unions need to go away. They do nothing but protect the week and kill the strong. It’s big business, that’s it. Unions are a Parisite on America, sucking us dry while killing us. They are supposed to be for freedom and hard working people. But try and put an anti-union sticker on your car, you will have flat tires and broken windows from those so called American union workers. Yeah. Real Americans can get raises based on their work ethic and ability, not time and service!

    • charles

      You have no idea what yout talking about. We are all weak in the eyes of big companies like target without a real way to negotiate the way they treat us. If you hate democracy then by all means, hate unions. The very idea that you think that unions are sucking us dry anf killing us means you haven’t looked at a history book in a very long time. Why when more than thirty percent of our work force had a union, did we have such a strong middle class? I don’t care how strong you think you are, if you become sick, what stops your boss from getting rid of your super hero ass if you worked at a place like target? Maybe you just think that everyone that decides to work in a place like that are by default weak people.

      • https://www.facebook.com/EastCoastRocker Michael Rocker

        Right on target Charles. no pun intended

      • lars

        Unions kills the sweet freedom between human beings and poisons the healthy egoism every human being need and crave for. You might been lead to believe that it is the Unions that makes your salary worth anything but you are obviously wrong. It has and will always been production of goods and services and the more effective, the more value you’ll get for your dollar spent.

        I don’t mind Unions, but I don’t mind people being able to fire someone with a 15min notice or pay them 3 dollar an hour.

        It’s life. Don’t ruin it.

    • https://www.facebook.com/EastCoastRocker Michael Rocker

      Marty first off do a spell check. The word you wanted was WEAK. And yes unions protect all employees working in it to make sure the strong big business does not choke the life out of you. A union protects your interests to assure that you get a decent wage.To make sure you are working under a contract that has been negotiated for you and the company as well as the union have to abide by. Protecting you from being fired just because they say so. That’s why Walmart and Target can get away with paying $7.25 an hour. Both Walmart and Target will send you home exactly at 40 hours if you are full time and will write you up if you go 1 minute over unless they authorize it. I have seen it happen when i was working at a Walmart. Just to clarify something here. Real Americans can get raises based on their work ethic and ability, as well as time and service! It is done in the military as well as private jobs. Do you think someone with 20 years on the job is going to or going to be happy making the say pay as someone being there 1 day or 1 year? I don’t think so and that’s what a good union does. What if i went to your job and asked your boss to pay you $7.25 an hour when you may be making $15 right now. You would have 2 choices. Take it or leave it because there is no union to protect you. i have been in a union for years and yes I pay dues but they make sure I have work

      • lars

        Take it or leave – that sound just great. How good things are in life. Options and honesty. Human beings coming together without some group of people making noise and demand less freedom over you and your self (your boss is also an human being).

        Few years on the job might be relevant (trust) but 15 years no way. If you are 55 years old and work at wall-mart and work slower than the average guy in 20s you should get less paid. It should bring you to re-think your situation and look out for another job.

        Wall-mart are perfectly made for students and/or retired people who are bored at home and just want to meet people and being useful.

  • ken st antoine

    what a pathetic farce..not one single viable fact..and iv’e experienced non-union and union enviroments as well as self employed..It appears to me target is aiming for short term gain..hope this video bites them in the butt! every dollar I spend is a dollar target won’t see :)
    wonder if target was concerned about the iron workers they hired to put up there building or those actors..are they union actors???? they don’t appear to be employees.

  • http://theoldonionbag.wordpress.com waterbhoy

    I lasted 55 seconds thats all I could handle of the nauseating corporate BS. Dawn is so unbelievable.

  • Marisa Binder

    Unions are not meant for retail or customer service. I understand that in construction and hard labor jobs you would require a union. In the other industries you don’t require it. I would not want to have to pay a fee to have someone talk for me. A union free environment has always been my choice. Everyone has their own opinion but from my experience it is not necessary…

    • Andrew

      Unions organize, educate and bargain for your rights. Union have a place in retail, they have many places. Where ever there are bullies, and management that conducts campaign’s of torment and terror, unions are needed. Equality for everyone. You need checks and balances.

      • William Birks

        I see nothing in here except how management would take extreme advantage of workers if not for unions. Aren’t managers taken advantage of by the corporations instead in union environments? I know that’s the case in my company. I work my ass off every day and all I hear is about how I’m the devil because I’m a manager and I can’t ask people to do things because its not their job. Guess what? Then everything falls on me and I end up spending 12-14 hours a day cleaning up after everyone goes home because they can only work 8 hours. I know. No one cares about me because I’m part of the problem!

        • Andrew

          You’ve made your choice, now either give over time or do your job. Sorry you feel that way, but you shouldn’t be doing work that is for a union member. That should be grieved…

    • https://www.facebook.com/thew.neuronautic Thew NeuroNautic

      thank unions if ANY of these apply to you:

      Weekends without work
      All breaks at work, including your lunch breaks
      Paid vacation
      Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
      Sick leave
      Social Security
      Minimum wage
      Civil Rights Act/Title VII – prohibits employer discrimination
      8-hour work day
      Overtime pay
      Child labor laws
      Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA)
      40-hour work week
      Workers’ compensation (workers’ comp)
      Unemployment insurance
      Pensions
      Workplace safety standards and regulations
      Employer health care insurance
      Collective bargaining rights for employees
      Wrongful termination laws
      Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
      Whistleblower protection laws
      Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) – prohibits employers from using a lie detector test on an employee
      Veteran’s Employment and Training Services (VETS)
      Compensation increases and evaluations (i.e. raises)
      Sexual harassment laws
      Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
      Holiday pay
      Employer dental, life, and vision insurance
      Privacy rights
      Pregnancy and parental leave
      Military leave
      The right to strike
      Public education for children
      Equal Pay Acts of 1963 & 2011 – requires employers pay men and women equally for the same amount of work
      Laws ending sweatshops in the United States

      • https://www.facebook.com/steve.szymura Steve Szymura

        Very well stated Thew…

      • T.J.

        Try looking up mark m McDermott…he puts on the best union/workers history classes. He goes over each of those listed in that list plus more things. I was amazed at the history. Things I never knew, and am glad I know now.
        As for the video, I thought it was illegal to tell someone how to vote, like they did in the end of the video? They said ” you have to vote no.”

  • Pingback: TARGET’s Disingenuous Propaganda To Attack Unions — The Daily Witness

  • Claire Wilson

    Apparently Target is making several of these anti-union videos, I recently saw another one with different people (a black woman and a white guy) spewing the same propaganda and using almost the exact same dialogue. They were AFTRA Union members as I suspect these two also are. This is despicable. Disgusting that Target is following the Wal-Mart business model instead of Costco’s. Once this knowledge spreads they will see their sales numbers fall, just as Wal-Mart has. I am so sick of companies making profits by shortchanging and intimidating the employees who need the jobs so accept the lousy treatment.

  • Steve

    this is pure crap by two actors not even staff and all the way through this they talk as if they work here they feel they can tell some one not to talk to some one can these employees not just make up there own mind and at the end if u listen hard enough they tell us loud and clear if u join a union u will fired and telling u have the right to join one but dont this is pure intimation of employees at Target
    They only want to scare staff into not joining a union so the can continue to pay poor wages and have no T/Cs or health benefits
    United together we will never be defeated
    And one voice is never listened to but many make a bigger sound
    JOIN a UNION if u want to protect JOBS

  • spikeinupstate

    So big companies band together under the chamber of commerce and other trade and business groups in order to protect their interests, and that’s good. But workers banding together in a union in order to protect their interests, that’s bad. I got it now…

  • Tom

    @William Birks….Look into some facts before spewing the uninformed rhetoric. Regardless of what a “union boss” makes, the pay is above average for the worker. Your uninformed thoughts should be reversed, the “corporate boss” is paying minimum wage and getting filthy rich on the backs of the worker. Reverse your thoughts on this, and this country will thrive again.

    • William Birks

      The only facts I have to check are the ones I see on a daily basis as a manager of union members who are basically golden no matter what they do, pay little in union dues and get a hell of a lot more benefits than I. I’m all for unions but as a manager, I’d like to form one for us.

      • https://www.facebook.com/EastCoastRocker Michael Rocker

        Then why not go out and form one for the people on your level. I had a friend who used to work for Verizon. She used to belong to the CWA. A very strong union but when she got promoted to a middle management position she was no longer covered. A year later she was RIFFED (reduction in force) and she had nothing to fall back on. She lost her job and went in to a deep depression and wound up drinking herself to death. :(

  • Frank

    Don’t kid yourself these anti union propagandist only fear what will cut into their bottom line. Believe me when Target hits the skids and they will. Union or no Union .They will close shop , the board members , brain trust and stock holders will move on.Change the name or move into a different direction without regard to the team members , middle management and that poor soul working the floor.

  • Jeff Boutin

    In the late 80’s and far too far into the 90’s, I worked at the North Carolina based grocery chain Food Lion. The “Union” was the boogeyman. We had countless meetings regarding how we should act if approached by people talking about unions. Run and tell a manager. We were told that if we unionized that hours would be cut, that there would be fewer people running a department, and that raises would be rare. I worked there for 12 years. We never unionized. Hours were cut. A department of 12 (most full-time) was reduced to 3 by the time I left. And raises were a little more frequent than Presidential elections but still usually left you wondering what extravagance you might indulge in with the extra $4 a week. Thanks for posting the article. I guess I can cross Target off my shopping itinerary.

  • Ks

    I wonder if those two professional actors are members of SAG.

  • https://www.facebook.com/jonathonsee Jonathon See

    The worst part is this is a training video!

  • http://novenator.wordpress.com novenator

    These 2 actors should be ashamed of themselves. This is tantamount to women actors supporting forced wearing of the hijab, or LGBT actors making a video about how Marriage Equality is really bad for gay folks.

    • thinkaboutit

      The actors featured in this video are non-union.

      • https://www.facebook.com/david.ewers.5 David Ewers

        How would you know that? Do you have some information you would like to share or are you just another troll?

        • thinkaboutit

          I happen to know the actors featured in the video…and know that they are non-union. I merely wanted to point out a fact that I figured most folks in on this discussion were unaware of.

          • http://facebook.com/evilliberalagenda John Prager

            That’s very interesting. Tell them they are awful people. I don’t care if it was work.

  • Veteran

    What a load of shit………….

  • https://www.facebook.com/LineLevesqueCreations Line Lévesque

    I think this video is valid. So many companies shut down because of Union. Employees had no say or rights when they wanted to help the company they worked for, get back on their feet. Union Rules. Meanwhile too many people lost jobs, and companies shut down.

    Good for them – Target isn’t letting Union business and dictators take control of their company!!!

    • Octopi

      Cant tell if serious…

      Unions help people negotiate wages if their too low (i.e Walmart,Target). The Corporations don’t need protection, they have multi milllion dollar lawyers to back them up. Why cant I, as an employee have protection from getting butt-fucked by my employer?

      • https://www.facebook.com/dimgrund1 David Imgrund

        Supervalue Cub (Twin Cities, MN) is the biggest grocery chain in the area, fully unionized, and totally successful.

      • https://www.facebook.com/david.ewers.5 David Ewers

        No company has shut down because its employees were members of a union. Even the company who owned Twinkies tried to blame the failure on the inion, but when the truth came out they looted the company and had so many mistakes in management and where the market was going.

        Let me guess your political party, does it involve a beverage?

        • https://www.facebook.com/EastCoastRocker Michael Rocker

          Thanks David you saved me from going on a tirade about how Hostess Bakeries board of directors and upper management lined their pockets on the backs of their hard working employees. The new Twinkies are now non union made and as much as I loved eating them I will no longer eat them until they are union made.

          • Bob K

            And I did buy some new Twinkies. They have a distinct chemical undertaste. The Hostess employee union gave back a lot of stuff over the years to help out the company and it turned out that the management was stealing all the stuff they gave back.

            If unions killed companies Germany would be in deep doo doo since they are required to, not only have unions, but to give unions representation on the board of directors. I guess you could say strong unions make for strong companies.

            It was unions which created the middle class and made America strong. It’s union busting which is destroying the economy.

        • lars

          What do you mean by looted? Did they steal their own money?

    • Jim

      Could you name some of the companies that have closed? I’d be very interested to know

    • unionyes

      You can tell you watch FOX news and your education level is a G.E.D.! Unions have to follow federal law just like the companies do and are far from dictators. When try to unionize a facility l, corporation’s, like target, FORCE workers to sit in meeting (both individual and group) put propaganda in the break room’s and on their paystubs all day every day and will break the law to win. Unions actually have to work hard to get their side heard today
      and common sense says, ” if the union has no place today, why do companies ,like target, go to great lengths to fight a union?” if the unions had no power and could do nothing but hurt the workers, let the workers seal their own fate! But we know this is not true, unions bring higher wages, better benefits, and a LEGAL voice on the job. So before you spew your un-educated opinion… Get the facts, preferably out of an actual book, from an actual book store!

    • Timeo

      Yea they are doing such a good job of it …how many millions of us just had our personal information stolen due to their lack of oversight and response? They are sure quick to get out in front of unionization efforts thou!!

  • Awkptc

    Some businesses benefit from unions but some do not. If you already have good pay, benefits and environment don’t risk it be joining a union.

    • Andrew

      The 40 hour work week, child labor laws, retirement plans, oh and the weekend brought to you by Unions. Unions raise the livable wage and establish a better quality of life. I paid more in taxes than my former Company’s CEO. Unions don’t want to destroy commerce, they want to help preserve it for future generations rather than send our jobs over seas which corporate America/1% want to do. I am proud to be Union.

      • lars

        Technology, ideas and production combined with human reason and options made us with 40 hour week. I even know people who work hour than me but earn way more. It is possible because the world have gotten so efficient not because union or govt. forces them to comply with their demands.

        I hope that they will send job over-sea so we get cheaper good and services. C’mon. How do you expect people buying clothes if an American with 10$ dollar an hour? It makes more sense that those type of jobs, sweat shops, still will be in kambodsja, vietnam and other rural places.

  • William Birks

    Unions are just another step in big business bureaucracy. A union is another corporation trying to turn a profit on the backs of the common worker.

    • https://www.facebook.com/geoff.ackerman Geoff Ackerman

      Ahh, another paid anti-union troll. Allow me to explain something. The idea that union presidents make hundreds of thousands or even millions a year is false. In fact, Rich Trumka, who is the president of the AFL-CIO, only has a $250,000 salary. Not even in the 1%.

      • lars

        I’m not sure if an Union is a feel-good corporation or big business bureaucrazy, but it sure involves lot of people talking on other peoples behalf. I’m also not sure why they need people talking on their behalf. I like it without union, even tho it might be struggling at times, cause I speak my own voice and I’m not dependent on other. They can speak their own salary and so can I.

    • Crackalackin’

      Can’t tell if uninformed or dumb…

    • charles

      Why when unions were at there peak of existance did we have the best middle class this country has ever seen? A union is quite simply democracy in the work place. It gives the people that work for a company a real voice. There can’t be any checks and balances within these giant box stores without them. The law states that corperations are obligated by law to make the most money it can for it’s share holders. What then stops them from keeping its workers from having anything close to a living wage if not a union.

      • lars

        We don’t need someone to give the people a voice; we all have individual voices – through our choices, work and ambitions.

        Don’t take that away from me!

    • Andrew

      Unions act as a balance between management and labor. The NLRB was created to oversee both parties so that not one side be to dominate. Basically for checks and balances. Unions educate the worker about their rights that are bargained for.

  • http://twitter.com/WarrenBedoya warren bedoya (@WarrenBedoya)

    Staples has a terrible anti-union propaganda video they made us watch also.

    • http://facebook.com/evilliberalagenda John Prager

      Let me know if you can get a copy of it :)

    • https://www.facebook.com/EastCoastRocker Michael Rocker

      Staples is owned by Bain (Mitt Romeny) Capitol who is anti union. However recently in NYC and Vegas and i think Chicago another company they own called Guitar Center voted for unionization

      http://vegasseven.com/2013/11/11/bunkhouse-held-guitar-center-goes-union/

  • Jeff B.

    That’s hilarious, kroger is union, and I have never in my life of going there to shop been treated that way. Ever

    • https://www.facebook.com/EastCoastRocker Michael Rocker

      Safeway and Giant stores in Maryland and Virginia are also union. There is talk about a Walmart Super Center being built in La Plata Maryland. There is already a reg GM Wal mart store there that is selling groceries as well as Target. Having a super center in that town is going to take business away from the smaller mom and pops stores as well as the already existing Safeway, Giant and Food Lion stores

  • Lisa Smith

    I am very sorry to now have to cut up my target cards!

  • matt

    so companies that have government lobbyists bad unions with government lobbyists good?

    • Bob K

      Yes! Unions represent the people, companies represent the destruction of the middle class for profit for the worst people in the country.

  • Gabriel B

    Wow, all this time I never knew walmart employees were “union” seeing as the always refuse to be helpful (sarcasm intended). Was that produced by the Koch brothers?

    • Jeff B.

      Sweet! Great example

  • barb Fitzgerald

    Uninformed and laughable…read as”we want you kept on poverty level wages and able to put the fear of God in you with our intimidation tactics and dehumanizing treatment!!”

  • Rick

    I’m a supporter of Union representation, but I didn’t think this video was that bad. Companies should have the right to make their case against unionization too. Unions are great, but they are not always the best option..

    • matt

      i dont think unions have a place in retail, the worst job i ever had was in a union grocery store the pay was lousy most of the full time people did little work and the shop steward was the most useless person i ever met

      • Jeff B.

        Sorry for your experience but, not all work places with unions are like that.
        Don’t hate on unions please.

  • Paul Wall

    What complete and utter manure. I wish I had the time to shoot down every BS point like the implication that workers no longer need unions. Maybe because more jobs are shipped overseas and working stiffs are glad to take even a non-union job with little possibility of a future. Almost glad I was never called to work for Target’s. I’m a damned good worker and I don’t always feel like I need to be unionized but it is nice to know someone has my back on the job.

    • https://www.facebook.com/geoff.ackerman Geoff Ackerman

      See, and that’s the basis for forming and/or joining a union. You deserve better than whatever scraps your employer has you fighting about with your coworkers.

  • LiberalConstitutionalist

    I already don’t shop at Target because of this. I know someone that used to work there. If you were interested in unionizing, you were fired. That’s why no “group” has ever wanted to unionize…because they are no longer part of the company.

  • Amy

    I had to stop at 4 minutes. I was about to lose my breakfast.

    • Dave

      I stopped at 3:45. What a load of crap. Target has to resort to brainwashing the poor souls that work there.

      • lars

        Better to close down the whole thing and fire _everyone_ right?

  • Tom

    From now on I will look for a store that is not anti-union. Unions are the last “water mark on the wall” for the middle class in this country.

    • Jeff B.

      As a union member myself, I am done with target. They forget that the middle class are the ones with money spending at their stores. Not the rich folks. We made them what they are today. Shame on them

  • Jamal

    I wish Target tried that hard to keep my credit card information safe!

  • Wini

    Dear Target, I am sorry that I ever entered your building!

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