Amid rising labor organizing, local efforts to outlaw captive audience meetings will likely expand.

by Michael Arria, Truthout

In May 2022, an employee at a Target store in Christiansburg, Virginia, leaked audio from a meeting that store employees were forced to attend.

Workers had been trying to organize a union at the store since 2019. In the recorded meeting, which was mandatory, the store managers assembled to tell the staff that they didn’t have to support the union. One manager claimed that joining a union could end up costing everyone $500 a month. “I think right now, especially as times are tight.… I’d definitely check that this is the best decision for yourselves,” he told the staff. “The other thing too is if you say, ‘I don’t want to be part of a union. I want to do my own thing. I want to represent myself’… if the vote comes back 51 percent you’ll lose all that. You’ll have to pay the dues, you’ll have to pay initiation fees as part of that situation.”

unite here workers on strike

When a Target employee (and member of the organizing committee) informed the manager that the information he shared was inaccurate and workers could end up paying as little as $6 a month to be part of a union, management promptly ended the meeting.

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