Virginia Target workers join labor union movement: Here’s what both sides are saying

Workers at a Target store in Christiansburg, Virginia, have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a union election, saying inflation is outpacing their pay.  

The workers are joining the labor movement that is sweeping the nation and impacting major corporations including Amazon, Starbucks, Apple and Etsy. 

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Adam Ryan, who has been working at the Christiansburg store for five years and founded Target Workers Unite in 2019, said their pay is not keeping pace with surging costs for staples like food and rent. 

A Target store and shopping cart.  (iStock / iStock)

The rising cost of living, according to Ryan, “is causing a lot of anxiety and stress. People are stretched too thin. They need more support and compensation.” 

He also noted employees feel like they are having to do too many tasks, from filling online orders to unloading trucks.

The move comes after veteran Target workers at the store, which employs about 100 people, petitioned for additional pay for five- and 10-year veterans. However, Target Workers Unite argued that their request was “met with evasive tactics and nonanswers by corporate HR” despite its “open door policy” for workers. 

A Target spokesperson told FOX Business the company has “a deep commitment to listening to our team and creating an environment of mutual trust where every team member’s voice matters.” 

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The spokesperson said the company pays a starting wage ranging from $15 to $24 per hour. 

Target raised the starting wage at the Christiansburg store last fall, including an increase in wages for longer-tenured workers. 

The company also offers “expanded health care benefits, debt-free education assistance, personalized scheduling and opportunities for growth,” according to the spokesperson.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TGT TARGET CORP. 217.27 +3.78 +1.77%

Unions need to garner support from at least 30% of workers who are eligible to vote in order to hold an official election under the supervision of the U.S. National Labor Relations Board, according to the agency’s policies. 

Ryan said they have already collected more than 30 authorization cards from workers at the store, which is about 30% of the staff. 

Those signatures still need to be reviewed. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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