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My 2 Sense

Dufus of the Week

Without Prejudice - February 19 , 2012

Target Screws Zellers Employees

All Zellers employees to be "laid off" and may reapply to work at their store when it's rebranded as Target. No salary parity, no severance pay, no seniority, no pensions.

American capitalism on crack.

As Zellers stores across Canada get set to be turned into Target Stores the United Food and Commercial Workers Union is asking Target Canada for fairness when hiring new employees.  Target Canada has announced all staff at converted Zellers stores will have to apply for their jobs.  UFCW Spokesperson Kevin Shimmin says it's not fair for long time Zellers employees.

"And even if you do get the job," says Shimmin, "once it's Target your years of service, your wages and your benefits are not going to be recognized." 

We're talking about 15,000 employees for christsakes. And listen, there is nobody more anti-union guy than I, but there is right and there is wrong and this is plain wrong. Some of these employees have been with Zellers for 25 years. This is exactly where capitalism has gone off track, where it has become the antithesis of ethical business.

Target Canada Spokesperson Lisa Gibson says when the deal between Zellers and Target was inked it was just a financial transaction.

"And so what this means is we've acquired the sites, but obviously nothing beyond that," says Gibson, "so no technology, no merchandise and none of the employees as well.  So it is a strictly financial agreement and that is why we're going to have to be rehiring all store team members."

This "excuse" to get out of existing commitments to Zellers employees is reprehensible. Legal, but immoral in the extreme.

Tony Fisher
Tony Fisher
President of Target Canada
Mark Foote
Mark Foote
President of Zellers Canada
Lisa Raitt
Lisa Raitt
Federal Minister of Labour

These are the miscreants involved in this little ripoff of Canadian employees by the big American company. Target Canada prez, Tony Fisher, looks like the kind of guy who might have benefitted from some recreational drugs, you know, given him a heart. And here I thought the lessons of the sixties would create responsible caring people in the future.

Mark Foote, Zellers soon to be ex prez has the perfect look of a collaborator who is mouthing the same Target excuse. You can bet your ass he got a golden parachute as part of the buyout deal.

Our esteemed Minister of Labour, Ms. Raitt looks like she's no stranger to alternative intoxicants and guess what...she's saying nothing about this whole issue. I mean why should she, it's American investment in Canada? Tough shit to the employees.

This reminds me of something that happened when I was 12-years-old. My father sold steel, mainly nails, rebar and screws to Ashdown Hardware Distributors in Edmonton. Ashdown's purchasing manager became a family friend of ours and he worked for his company for 40 years. They laid him off one month before his retirement to avoid paying a pension. You'd think that kind of shit wouldn't occur anymore, would you Mr. Fisher?

So, I for one, will not patronize a Target store. I will continue to shop at Walmart, that great patriotic Christian friend of its employees, small town businesses and the workers of China. Choke.

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