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

(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.

A Target sign is shown on the front of a Target Store Tuesday, May 17, 2011, in Wilsonville, Ore.
A Target sign is shown on the front of a Target Store Tuesday, May 17, 2011, in Wilsonville, Ore.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
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