June 18, 2011 / 9:47 AM / 8 years ago

Target workers at New York store reject union

CHICAGO, June 18 (Reuters) - Workers at a Target Corp (TGT.N) discount store in New York voted to reject union representation in a closely watched battle over unionization in the retail sector.

Workers at the Valley Stream, New York, store voted against union affiliation by a count of 137 to 85, Target said in a statement released Saturday. The vote was taken on Friday.

A union representative could not be reached for comment early Saturday.

Target employs thousands of workers at 27 stores in the New York City area. None of the Minneapolis-based company’s 1,755 or so U.S. stores have union-represented employees.

Employees at the suburban store, located roughly 15 miles east of Manhattan, voted not to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500.

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.

That makes it likely there will be objections to Friday’s “hotly contested” election, said Donald Schroeder, an employment, labor and benefits attorney with law firm Mintz Levin.

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: r.reuters.com/xyr22s

Retailers such as Target and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) have long resisted having employees represented by unions at their stores. (Reporting by Brad Dorfman; editing by Todd Eastham)

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