Starring in Target's Anti-Union Training Film: Union Actors
Hey, it's just a job, says AFTRA member
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2011 11:38 AM CDT
A Target sign is shown on the front of a Target Store Tuesday, May 17, 2011, in Wilsonville, Ore.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(Newser) – Oh, Target: Perhaps it wasn't such a good idea to hire union actors for your anti-union employee training video. The video, which Gawker dubs “propaganda,” was created in 2003 but made headlines this week when that site made it publicly viewable for the first time. Now Salon reports that the two actors in the video, who play Target employees warning other Target employees about the dangers of signing up for a union, are both union actors and that the video was filmed under the jurisdiction of huge entertainment union AFTRA.

"If someone hires me to play a rapist, does it make me a rapist? You take the job, and you're an actor," says Ric Reitz, who plays one of the employees. "Am I pro-union? Absolutely." That said, he did find the content “very awkward” when he got the script, but AFTRA informed him it was perfectly fine to take the job. Target has long fought against labor organizers, and a big development is expected tomorrow when hundreds of workers at a New York store vote on whether to join a union. Click to watch the video.

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Jun 16, 2011 7:13 PM CDT
Jun 16, 2011 1:52 PM CDT
As a blue collar worker, I'm pro union, only if the local and shop steward are there to represent the member and not themselves. Unions working with corporations can be a "double-edged" sword when it comes to signing a contract when it allows room for the union representatives to be "in bed" with the CEO's of the corporation and the only people that lose is the workers. The actor that spoke out and said it's just his profession is a hypacrit and if I was a member of that actors' union, I wouldn't have done an anti-union propaganda piece. I now know that I won't ever apply for a job with the Target Corporation, simply because they play corporate politics.
Jun 16, 2011 1:20 PM CDT
The next fifty years will see significant growth and prosperity as working people take the power back and form unions. Once corporations are forced to reward their employees for success, the economy will see a big boost from all the increased demand. When profits only go to the top, the economy stagnates as the rich sit on their cash.