Local Target managers, employees react to planned ‘sickout’

Ferre Dollar/CNN

Target workers are getting ready to call out of work May 1, citing health concerns during the coronavirus pandemic.

Managers at all three Madison Target locations say they’re aware of the planned protests and don’t believe any local employees will be participating. They say none of their workers have brought forward concerns since new safety measures were established last month.

The same can’t be said nationally. The group ‘Target Workers Unite’ claims the company is more focused on sales than employee health, and says Target is only taking half measures to protect them against the virus.

Target has reduced its store hours and given masks to its workers, but employees are not required to wear them. In a statement, the company says, “It is important that Target team members feel comfortable sharing their concerns.”

Participating workers say they want to draw attention to the health risks they face everyday as essential workers, on the front lines of fighting this virus. Madison-area employees denied News 3 Now’s request to go on camera, but they said they feel safe working in local stores.

However, many Illinois employees say they don’t feel safe. Since the pandemic started, at least 30 grocery store workers have died of coronavirus across the country and 3,000 have tested positive for it. Three Target employees tested positive in a Chicago store as of this week and other cases were reported in a store in Michigan.

The planned sickout coincides with International Workers Day or May Day.