Earlier this summer, employees at a Target store in the Long Island community of Valley Stream voted against forming a union, but the fallout from the push to unionize still lingers, as the employee behind the movement has recently been let go from her job at the store.
The retailer tells Crain’s New York that the 21-year-old woman was let go because she “recently acted in an overly hostile, disruptive manner that is inconsistent with Target’s policies.”
But she believes her dismissal was directly tied to her push for employees to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500.
“I believe I was fired because of my participation in the union campaign,” she says. “Because I’m for the union, they wanted to get rid of me.”
In a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board about her dismissal, she and her lawyer claim she lost her job after she was spotted being dropped off at the store by a union representative.
She says that, on the day before she was let go, her supervisor told her not to report to work the next day because she was under investigation over allegations that she had spread rumors that all staff members from Jamaica were going to be fired. The next day, she was officially fired.
The NLRB says it is investigating the woman’s claims, along with others related to this particular Target store.
In addition to the hubbub over this employee’s dismissal, there are other aspects of the unionizing push that are still up in the air. The union has challenged the vote and is looking for a do-over, claiming that employees were bribed and intimidated into voting against the union. Meanwhile, Target filed complaints against union reps over allegations of threatening and assaulting employees.