Workers at a Target store in Christiansburg, Virginia, have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold union elections, saying inflation is exceeding their wages.
The workers are joining the labor movement that is sweeping the nation and influencing big companies like Amazon, Starbucks, Apple and Etsy.
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Adam Ryan, who has worked at the Christiansburg shop for five years and founded Target Workers Unite in 2019, said their pay hasn’t kept up with the rising cost of basic necessities like groceries and rent.
The rising cost of living, says Ryan, “is causing a lot of anxiety and stress. People are too skinny. They need more support and compensation.”
He also noted that employees feel they have too many tasks to perform, from filling online orders to unloading trucks.
The move comes after veteran Target workers at the store, which employs about 100 people, petitioned for extra pay for five- and 10-year veterans. However, Target Workers Unite argued that despite their “open-door policy” for workers, their request “was met with evasive actions and non-responses from HR.”
A Target spokesperson told FOX Business the company has “a deep commitment to listening to our team and creating an environment of mutual trust where every team member’s voice counts.”
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The spokesman said the company pays a starting wage of between $15 and $24 an hour.
Target raised starting pay at the Christiansburg department store last fall, including a pay rise for longer-serving workers.
The company also offers “enhanced healthcare benefits, debt-free educational assistance, personalized scheduling and growth opportunities,” according to the spokesperson.
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Agency guidelines require unions to have the support of at least 30% of eligible workers to hold an official election under the supervision of the US National Labor Relations Board.
Ryan said they have already collected more than 30 authorization cards from store employees, which is about 30% of the workforce.
These signatures have yet to be verified.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.