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Retail Union activists take campaign to first-ever Target store in Canada

Activists from Canada's leading retail union, UFCW Canada, engaged thousands of community members both inside and outside one of the first-ever Target retail stores to open in Canada, to Ask Target for Fairness.The Guelph location opened on March 5, at the former site of one of the more than 200 stores Target bought from Zellers in 2011.

Saturday shoppers outside the new store were greeted by activists with information flyers to remind the community that the newest retail department store in their neighbourhood has been anything but neighbourly to tens of thousands of Zellers workers who were denied a chance to reclaim their jobs at the Guelph location and hundreds of others. “While promoting itself as the new friendly neighbour in Canada, Target has clearly failed to include the more than 25,000 Canadian workers they threw out of good jobs,” says Kevin Shimmin, an anti-poverty activist and retail union organizer for UFCW Canada.

"Target tells its customers to 'Expect More. Pay Less.', and it is sort of the same message for its new employees," says Brother Shimmin. "Judging from the experience of Target employees in the United States, Target Canada workers can expect no more than a handful of scheduled hours a week, with little or no benefits, pension, and absolutely no job security."

Inside and outside the store, shoppers, workers and managers also got the Ask Target for Fairness message, as a group of UFCW Canada activists broke out into a "Harlem Shake" — a spontaneous group dance and the latest social media craze.

"Since it bought the Zellers retail chain, Target has shown total disregard for the labour rights of former Zellers workers," says Shimmin, "so the new Target workers will likely get just as little respect. We're here to let them know the Ask Target for Fairness campaign is also there for them and will continue to build awareness about Target's treatment of Canadian retail workers."

Add your voice to the national campaign at

  • ufcw [at] ufcw247 [dot] com