Protest at Target Canada HQ
Target will be the focus of a demonstration at their Canadian headquarters in Mississauga Wednesday.
The rally, called "Target Fairness" is an attempt to change the US retailer's mind about the way it's taking over Zellers stores.
As it moves in, Target is firing all existing Zellers employees. Kevin Shimmin, National Director with the United Food & Commercial Workers union says this sort of mass-firing is unprecedented in Canada. He points out that when Wal-Mart took over Woolco stores in the 1990s, they gave workers the option to stay on & honoured their pay.
From a business perspective, Shimmin can't understand why Target would want to get rid of employees, some with decades of experience, who understand the neighbourhoods they're selling in.
He says Zellers workers aren't calling for a Target boycott, but down the road they will have to "look at all options" if the US chain is going to "continue to simply ignore the voices of Zellers workers".
Shimmin says the workers' campaign has paid off somewhat. While there's no firm promise of a position, Target has guaranteed existing Zellers workers at least a job interview.
The Zellers at Welland's Seaway Mall will open as a Target next summer. In St. Catharines, the Pen Centre's Zellers will do the same in the winter of 2013.
Zellers stores in Fort Erie, Niagara Falls & at the Fairview Mall in St. Catharines weren't snatched up by Target.
The Fairview Mall shop is being turned into a Wal-Mart. Fort Erie's Zellers will go dark just before Christmas. No closing date has been set for the Zellers in Niagara Falls. There's still hope it could be re-purposed as another HBC banner store.