This guest report comes courtesy of Charles Simpson. He was asked to put together a post about the recent strike at Target in Christiansburg. One of the strongest values of the Democratic party is a pro-union sentiment as outlined in the party platform. Local efforts to organize are important and are fundamental to creating a fair and safe working environment. Mr. Simpson is one of our most active members and is heavily involved in local union activity. We here at the Roanoke City Democratic Committee Blog reached out to Mr. Simpson for his comments on the recent events which are as follows:
Target Workers Strike
by Charles Simpson
Target store employees in Christiansburg VA went on strike from Tuesday August 22nd through Sunday August 27th. The reasons behind this labor action was due to the store’s General Manager Daniel Butler’s years-long abuse. Worker testimonies included instances of inappropriate touching, suggestive comments, racist remarks, misgendering of transgender employees, and physical abuse.
These coworkers strategically planned for this event well in advance by talking with different government agencies and legal groups to determine the best courses of action. There was/is always a possibility of the striking workers being disciplined for their actions but up until this point that has not occurred.
The rallies on the public sidewalk in front of the Target Store ran each day from 10am-6pm. These brave individuals gained support from various labor unions, the VA AFL-CIO, progressive organizations, local students as well as the general public. It was truly inspiring to see the rally of grassroots support for their fight. On Sunday the group leafleted tech campus asking all new students to boycott the Target store when the “College Shopping Extravaganza” was planned where college students are shuttled into the area to stock up for the class year.
The strikers are reporting back to work as of Monday August 28th but they plan to continue to keep the movement going with regular press events and more grassroots actions.
Please read more about the strike and see workers testimonials at www.nrvstrike.org
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