Tiny Union Unit Forms at Big Box Retailer

Source, Corporate Counsel: Tiny Union Unit Forms at Big Box Retailer

Lately I’ve been feeling burgeon-y, sort of stuffed with expectations. It feels like it’s time for unions to make a come back, because…well, because the union movement had a great deal to do with creating the American middle class. And we need them now to re-create the American middle class.

So when I read this, I cheered. It may be a tiny union, but my cheer was big. And hear my cheer: this “tiny union” formed in New York City. I am so proud.

Tiny Union Unit Forms at Big Box Retailer

Rebekah Mintzer, Corporate Counsel

Retail giant Target Corp recently racked up a first. The company looks to be getting its first-ever union, thanks to workers in the pharmacy section at a Brooklyn, New York, Target store. By a vote of 7-2, the workers opted to organize in a so-called “micro union” or “micro unit”— a small bargaining unit that only incorporates workers from one segment of a company’s workforce at a given location.

Although the Target unit’s population is small, its effect could be much bigger. The vote signals that there could be more union activity on the horizon in big box retail, a sector that has already seen pressure from some union-backed groups to improve wages and working conditions. The Target union also highlights the potential for a growth in the number of micro unions, a possibility has become more worrisome to business groups and corporations since 2011 when the National Labor Relations Board made it easier for these units to form.

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