UFCW Canada

UFCW Canada

February 07, 2012 10:18 ET

Zellers Workers Unite in New Campaign That Calls on Target Corp. to Respect Loyalty, Experience and Bargaining Rights When Hiring in Canada

Zellers Workers Are Gaining Supporters Across Canada With a New Campaign www.targetfairness.ca That Asks Target Corp. for Fairness When the Global Retailer Starts Hiring and Filling Jobs for Its "New" Canadian Store Locations

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb. 7, 2012) - Zellers workers across Canada are uniting as part of a new campaign that is asking Target for fairness when it comes to staffing its "new" Canadian stores.

Eager to roll out its well-known brand north of the US border, Target recently made a play for the Canadian market by purchasing a number of Zellers operations throughout the country. Soon after the purchase, Target announced that every job in the converted stores will be filled by new hires, and the Zellers workers will have to reapply for the same job, at the same store, for starting pay. A number of Zellers workers have worked at the same location for more than 25 years; some of their stories are featured on the workers' new website www.targetfairness.ca.

In response to Target's approach to Canada, a growing number of Zellers workers from different store locations are combining their voices to ask Target for fairness. As part of the campaign for fairness, the Zellers workers have worked with friends and labour rights advocates to launch www.targetfairness.ca.

The campaign website www.targetfairness.ca calls on supporters to make a stand for fairness by sending a letter to Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel, and by alerting their Facebook friends and Twitter followers to this very important issue facing Zellers workers and their communities across the country.

"Target is one of the world's most successful retailers and many Canadians are excited about shopping in new store locations that offer a weekly ad, coupons, regular store hours and the company's popular loyalty rewards card," says the group's website. "Target will soon be hiring in Canada and that is a good thing. But Target can be an even stronger force in our community by giving Zellers workers the respect they deserve. With the support of people who Ask Target for Fairness, the company can become a leader in Canada for creating better, fairer jobs that benefit our communities today and well into the future."

The group has also launched a Facebook page www.facebook.com/targetfairness that is attracting the attention of a growing number of Facebookers, including one user who wrote on the group's wall, "It's not fair to make someone reapply for the same job she's been doing for more than 20 years. The same job for less pay and none of the benefits she's worked her whole life to earn. It's not right and Target can afford to treat the people at Zellers better."

Another Facebooker and Zellers worker says, "As a Zellers associate of 22 years I stand to lose my benefits, seniority and wages. Why is this allowed to happen? Why is the government not saving these jobs? Target says that they are going to create all these jobs but there is no mention of the thousands that will remain unemployed because of them."

"This is an important campaign for everyone who cares about fairness and respect," says Kevin Shimmin, an anti-poverty activist and union organizer for UFCW Canada. "Five thousand people could lose their jobs. This could be devastating for their families and our communities. Zellers workers need our support now to protect their jobs and their livelihoods. Together, we can demand that Target treats working people in Canada with fairness." Zellers associates at 16 store locations in B.C., Ontario and Quebec are proud members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW Canada), the country's leading retail workers union.

The Ask Target for Fairness campaign is also asking friends and supporters with websites to link to www.targetfairness.ca, and to add this story to their newsfeeds and list serves.

To find out more about the campaign to ask Target for fairness, go to www.targetfairness.ca.

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