* Vote for first union-repped Target store fails
* Union vows to press for another election
(Updates with comments from union, Target)
CHICAGO, June 18 Workers at a Target Corp
(TGT.N) discount store in New York voted to reject union
representation in what would have been the first unionized
Target store in the country, while union officials vowed to
press for another election.
Employees at the Valley Stream, New York, store voted
against union affiliation, 137-85, Target said in a statement
released Saturday. The vote was taken on Friday.
"We are looking forward to having another election," said
Aly Waddy, director of special projects for the United Food and
Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, which wanted to represent
workers at the store, located about 15 miles east of
"We are definitely going to be invested in this campaign
until we make sure the workers can finally have a fair and free
election," Waddy said.
Target employs thousands of workers at 27 stores in the New
York City area. The Minneapolis-based company has about 1,755
U.S. stores and none have union-represented employees.
The vote was part of a closely watched battle over
unionization in the retail sector.
"At Target, it has always been our goal to have a culture
where our team members don't want or need union
representation," Derek Jenkins, Target senior vice president of
stores in the northeastern United States, said in a statement.
"The Valley Stream Target store is filled with a team of
dedicated, enthusiastic team members. We want to thank the team
for their faith and confidence in Target," Jenkins said.
Target and the union had already filed unfair labor
practice charges against each other with the National Labor
Relations Board, according to an agency spokesman, and more
charges are likely.
Waddy said some store employees were told the store could
close or that they could be replaced if they voted for
unionization. The store also rented vans, manned by security
guards, to take the employees to work to vote, she said.
"There was a serious level of tension in the store and,
obviously, the company ran a really aggressive campaign," Waddy
said. "A lot of people were taken aback by the fact that they
thought the store was going to close."
Union members make up a small percentage of U.S. retail
workers, and the percentage fell to 4.7 percent last year,
according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For a graphic on union membership, click here:
Retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N)
have long resisted having employees represented by unions at
(Reporting by Brad Dorfman and Michael Hirtzer; editing by