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Union protests job lost in Target takeover of Zellers' leases

The union representing retail workers in Canada brought the Harlem Shake to a new Target store in Guelph on Saturday, in an attempt to highlight the jobs lost as a result of Target’s entry into Canada.

About 20 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers of Canada did the Harlem Shake inside and outside the store.

They were escorted outside the store by security when they were done but handed out flyers to shoppers in the parking lot, advising them that 25,000 Zellers workers lost their jobs as a result of the $1.825-billion deal between HBC and Target that saw Target take over the leasehold interests of Zellers stores across Canada.

National union spokesperson Kevin Shimmin said more protests are planned.

Queen’s University School of Business professor Ken Wong said he finds it hard to take the protest seriously.

“If they had a legal leg to stand on, they would exercise it,” he said.

Target Canada president Tony Fisher said when three stores were opened last week in Guelph, Fergus and Milton that 27,000 employees have been hired, but declined to say how many of them have been hired to work full-time with benefits.

Target plans to open 124 stores in Canada by the end of 2013.

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