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Denver - June 17, 2013 - Over 200 UFCW activists, labour allies, community members, and former Zellers workers converged on the Target annual shareholders' meeting in Denver, Colorado to demand the corporation respect workers' rights. Former Zellers worker Angela Rankin traveled from Toronto with UFCW Canada national representative Kevin Shimmin to confront Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel. Rankine was joined by members of UFCW Local 7 from Colorado; SEIU members from Minnesota; community groups from across the United States, and Minnesota State Representative Raymond Dehn. While the activists rallied outside the meeting, UFCW Local 7 President Kim Cordova led a smaller delegation of activists into the shareholders' meeting to raise the workers' issues directly with the Board of Directors.

“I am one of the 25,000 Zellers workers who lost their job because of Target," Angela Rankin told the shareholders and Target CEO Steinhafel at the meeting. "I worked at Zellers for 13 years and I loved my neighbourhood and my customers. I have been through three job interviews with Target, to simply come back to work in my store. I have been refused every time and Target won’t even tell me why. Mr. Chairman, when will Target start treating Canadian workers with respect?"

“Target Team Members in Canada tell us that only one to two per cent of store employees have come from the Zellers stores,"  Kevin Shimmin then told the meeting. "The CEO of Target Canada is not telling the truth when he says that thousands of Zellers workers have been hired. Mr. Chairman, why is Target discriminating against the very dedicated and experienced Zellers workers who were employed in your stores only months ago?”

A number of other urgent issues were raised with the Board of Directors:

  • Janitors have been strike in Target’s home state of Minnesota for union recognition
  • Target often receives tax breaks in the U.S. but does not return jobs and investment into communities
  • Target Canada has hired a lobbying firm with close links to the Conservative Party to lobby against regulations governing the ethical sourcing of foreign goods

With no substantial commitments from Target’s CEO, activists vowed that this was only the beginning of a cross border movement to win justice for Target and Zellers workers.

“Target has the ability to do the right thing in Canada,” says Brother Shimmin. “It’s not just about 25,000 workers being thrown out of a job. It is also about their families and their communities. With a majority of Target stores still not open in Canada, the corporation needs to respect the rights of Zellers workers and guarantee they can return to work in their stores.”

 

Media Links

NLRB orders union revote at Valley Stream Target
Newsday - May 2, 2013

Protest targets Target for unfair treatment of Canadians
Toronto Star - August 22,  2012

Target Canada Protest: Zellers Workers, Unions Demonstrate Against Mass Layoffs By Canada-Bound Retail Giant
Huffington Post - August 22, 2012

Protestors target Target
Mississauga.com - August 22, 2012

Unions: Target not respecting seniority
Hamilton Spectator - August 22, 2012

Protestors target Target
MSN News Caanada

Target effectively calls Zellers customers old and cheap
Toronto Life - August 12, 2012

Unions take on Target in Mississauga
The Record - August 22, 2012

Target Fairness campaign hits Winnipeg

National union campaign targets Target

VIDEO : CTV Halifax

Expansion: Walmart compte investir 750 millions $ dans 73 projets au Canada

Des travailleurs de Zellers en Ontario ratifient leur convention collective

Argent Vidéos » Choix de l'éditeur » Offensive des employés de Zellers contre Target

Union campaigns to help Zellers workers

Campaign fights for Zellers workers' rights

Target takeover kills thousands of jobs

Ontario Zellers employees ratify new contract even as stores close

Ontario Zellers workers ratify new agreement

Union says Zellers' locals should remain after Target take-over

Zellers workers ask Target for fairness

Canadian Union Launches Target Effort

West Windsor Zellers to close June 2

Ontario Zellers workers ratify collective agreement

Zellers workers ask Target for fairness

Ontario Zellers employees ratify collective agreement

Zellers employees don't know what future will bring

Zellers employees in limbo

 
 

Target is one of the world’s most successful retailers and many Canadians are excited about shopping in new store locations that offer a weekly ad, coupons, regular store hours and the company’s popular redcard.

Target will soon be hiring in Canada and that is a good thing. But Target can be an even stronger force in our community by giving Zellers workers the respect they deserve. With your help, Target can be a leader in creating better, fairer jobs that benefit our communities today and well into the future.

This website is operated and maintained by UFCW Canada. This is not a Zellers or Target website, but features current Zellers workers who have all volunteered to tell their stories and share their opinions. UFCW Canada is a not-for-profit worker organization dedicated to social justice and creating better living standards for its membership and all working families.