TARGET: BEHIND THE BRAND
The Story of Exploitation in Retail Cleaning
On Thursday, February 7, CTUL held the public debut of our new mobile museum “Target: Behind the Brand. The Story of Exploitation in Retail Cleaning” in front of Target Corporation HQ in downtown Minneapolis.
Hundreds of people dropped by to read information, have a cup of hot cider and/or take home a tri-fold brochure about the museum.
The museum includes quotes from newspaper articles about four separate major lawsuits in the past ten years alleging violations of overtime and minimum wage laws in the cleaning of Target stores around the country (CTUL’s Wall of Shame has links related to three of the cases). The most recent case involved Target’s largest janitorial contractor, Diversified Maintenance Systems (DMS), and DMS workers who cleaned Target stores right here in the Twin Cities who alleged having to work seven days, 56-80 hours per week without receiving full overtime pay. The museum also includes an article about the owners of a cleaning company in Philadelphia who were convicted of forced labor in 2011 related to the cleaning of Target and other stores in the Northeast.
The museum compares these examples of sub-contracted cleaning work to Target’s 2011 Corporate Responsibility Report (PDF link), which states that (emphasis ours):
We will not knowingly work with any company that does not comply with our ethical standards…
Standards of Vendor Engagement
5) We seek business partners who do not require a work week that exceeds local laws or business customs and who do not require a week of more than 48 hours, plus a maximum of 12 hours overtime, on a regularly scheduled basis. Workers shall have at least one in seven days off.
6) Fair wages and benefits must be provided in compliance with local laws; in addition, we encourage our partners to improve wages and benefits to address the basic needs of workers and their families.
Most importantly, the museum highlights the organizing efforts of retail cleaning workers who are leading the struggle for fair wages and working conditions through CTUL’s Campaign for Justice in Retail Cleaning.
If you are interested in having the mobile museum visit your school, church, or community organization, please contact Brian Payne at firstname.lastname@example.org