Pharmacists Form Union at Target Store

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A group of Target pharmacy workers have won an initial ballot to form a union.

A group of Target pharmacy workers have won an initial ballot to form a union.

On September 16, 2015, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians at a Target store in Brooklyn, New York, voted 7-2 to form the microunion —the first since Target’s inception in 1902, Reuters reported.

Target spokespeople said the retailer was disappointed by the vote and will appeal the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision to allow the vote to proceed.

“Because of the pending sale of the business [to CVS Health], we don’t believe it was appropriate for the NLRB to move forward with the petition,” spokeswoman Molly Snyder told Reuters. “We believe it should have been dismissed and made that argument at the hearing.”

While the NLRB has argued that microunions are appropriate for employees who share “a community of interest,” the National Retail Federation countered that microunions can create disputes between groups of employees, and companies may struggle to negotiate between groups with competing interests, Reuters reported.

On the same day its employees voted to form a union, Target released a statement announcing its plans to partner with Techstars to create a “new retail accelerator” in Minneapolis next year.

“We know that technology will continue to revolutionize retail, and that Target’s future will be built on innovation,” said Target chief strategy and innovation officer Casey Carl in a press release.

“That’s why we’re so excited to partner with Techstars and invite the world’s most promising startups to work with Target right in our backyard.”

Carl has hinted that the Minneapolis concept store could include robots and other sci-fi features, according to Fortune.

Techstars’ Qualcomm Robotics Accelerator helps build machines with “mechanics and intelligent controls, computer vision, sensors, navigation, and wireless communication,” according to the company’s website.

Pharmacy Times contributor Anyssa Garza, PharmD, recently rounded up some trending tweets on the CVS-Target deal, one of which may have shown some clairvoyance, as it read:

“I feel really bad for the people I know who left CVS for Target in the hopes of being treated like actual humans and not robots.”

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