Behind Target’s “we’re hip and different” veneer lurks a company that intensely discourages its workers from joining a union. Gawker has posted a copy of an anti-union industrial video Target shows its new employees called, “Think Hard Before You Sign.” It’s kinda creepy. Here’s a transcript of the video. Some highlights:
Snip 1: “Person 1: We’re a target because we’re a threat to unions. The unions that represent grocery store workers.
Person 2: When we take business away from unionized grocery stores that means they need fewer employees.
Person 1: And fewer grocery store employees means fewer union members. And fewer members? Well that’s a problem for the union business. That’s right, I said business. Union business.
[scary themed background music starts to play]
[screen with dollar bills falling down begins to play]“
Snip 2: “Person 1: If the unions did try to organize Target team members they could also try and bring along their way of doing business. An old-fashioned rigid structure.
Person 2: Old fashioned is right. Being able to change quickly and adapt to new opportunities being flexible. That’s the key to running a successful business in today’s market and we’ve got the flexibility now.
Person 1: Right you are. No one knows exactly what could happen. But there are lots of examples of how rigid grocery store contracts could hurt our stores ability to serve guests and actually hurt our team members in the process.
Person 2: Here’s what we mean. Let’s say you’re working in stationary but you’re walking through domestics on your way to check on something. A guest stops you and ask for help. What would you do? Without even thinking about it you’d stop and give them any assistance they required.
[scary background music starts to play again]
Person 2: But what if union work rules say you can’t work outside of your department? What do you tell the guest? Sorry I can’t help you? That makes you look bad. But more importantly it means our guest doesn’t get immediate attention and they might not come back. So everyone gets hurt. Everyone except the union. Right now team members can get more hours based on their ability to cover more than one area. You have the option of being cross trained and becoming a more valuable member of your team.
Person 1: That’s right. But with a rigid union contract that may no longer be an option.”
Snip 3: “Person 1: Refuse to sign and keep Target union free.”
So it’s pretty clear, Target doesn’t want its employees joining unions and uses very on-the-nose direct dialog to make its points heard. Does knowing what they think about their workers make walking into their store give you those Walmart-esque goosebumps? Or are you largely interested in the exchange of goods for a fair price? Or do you agree with their assessment of unions? Sound off in the comments.
Here’s the Cheesy Anti-Union Video All Target Employees Must Endure [Gawker] (Thanks to Dan!)