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Target Pharmacists Vote Yes to Union

Daniel Hinton's picture
Sep 17, 2015

For the first time in the company's 113-year history, Target pharmacy employees in Brooklyn have voted to organize a labor union. According to a filing from the NLRB, a small group of pharmacists and pharmaceutical technicians voted yes, 7-2, immediately upon receiving approval to hold an election from the board.

Target is currently in the middle of selling its pharmaceutical business to CVS Health Corp for $1.9 billion. The union vote, which Target, of course, opposed, happened in response to the deal between the retail giants. In light of the sale, workers now worry about layoffs, scheduling reductions, and other changes in their employment once CVS becomes boss.

The pharmacy workers reached out to UFCW for help in forming the union, and they filed a petition to the NLRB on August 11. NLRB regional director James Paulsen approved the vote over Target's objections. Both Target and CVS responded by sending executives and other employees to dissuade the Brooklyn-based pharmacists from going through with their union drive.

These types of unions in which only one department in the whole store or warehouse is organized are called "microunions." The NLRB legalized the formation of microunions in 2011, which was then extended to retail stores by decision in 2014. The latter case involved Macy's fragrance and cosmetic  workers.

Today there are approximately 14,000 in-store Target pharmacy workers, who will be working for CVS soon. If all goes well, they'll have a union contract by then.

If you are a retail or department store worker, contact UFCW or RWDSU about joining or forming a union.

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