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Valley Stream Target ordered to allow second union vote

Shoppers enter the Target store in Valley Stream

Shoppers enter the Target store in Valley Stream where employees have been trying to organize a union. A first vote failed, but on May 1, 2013, a second vote was ordered. Credit: John Dunn, 2011

The National Labor Relations Board has upheld an administrative judge's order that Target Corp. hold a second union vote at its Valley Stream location.

The board Wednesday issued a ruling upholding most of an administrative judge's finding that Target had violated several labor laws leading up to a vote on June 17, 2011 to determine whether workers could form a union. Of the 260 Target workers eligible to vote, 137 rejected the union and 85 supported joining the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500.

But after an investigation by its Brooklyn office, the labor board said it found proof that the Minneapolis-based retailer broke laws in the National Labor Relations Act such as threatening to close the Valley Stream store if the workers voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and to "discharge" workers who discussed the union.

Last May, Judge Steven Davis, of the National Labor Relations Board's New York office, ruled that a company leaflet stressing 32 closings of A&P stores represented by the union constituted an illegal threat.

Davis also found that managers' restrictions on workers advocating union membership, the interrogation of employees about union activity, and numerous broad provisions in Target's employee handbook restricted workers' rights to take part in union activities.

The national board also ordered Target to make a number of revisions to its employee handbook.

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