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Dayton meets with Target CEO; employees say layoffs have begun

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Gov. Mark Dayton met Monday with Brian Cornell, CEO of Target Corp., to discuss the company's plans to lay off thousands of people who work at its corporate headquarters in downtown Minneapolis.

Meanwhile, reports from Target employees indicate the layoffs have already begun.

Target announced last week it will cut several thousand jobs at its headquarters in Minnesota over the next two years as it looks to make $2 billion in savings. The exact number of jobs to be eliminated has not been revealed.

The Minneapolis-based retailer lost $2.6 billion in the fourth quarter.

The company employs around 13,500 people at its headquarters, and cut 550 jobs in January following the company's decision to withdraw from Canada.

There's not much the governor can do to prevent the moves, but he told reporters after the meeting that he wants to assist people who are being laid off to help them find new jobs.

Dayton described his meeting with Cornell as "cordial and constructive," and said Target's decision was not linked to Minnesota's tax climate, according to Briana Bierschbach of MinnPost.

General Mills laid off between 700 and 800 employees over the past several months because of sluggish growth. The Minnetonka-based food giant eliminated a total of 1,500 jobs over the past two and a half years, and half of them were in Minnesota, according to the Star Tribune.

Meanwhile, Target employees are anxiously waiting to hear who will get the ax.

Reports are circulating among Target workers that some people were laid off Monday and that many more will be let go Tuesday.

Company officials are not commenting, according to FOX 9.

"Out of respect for the team, our commitment is that we will communicate with them first," Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder said to FOX 9.

According to the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, Cornell took a similar approach when he was the head of Sam's Club, a division of Walmart.

In 2010, Cornell eliminated 11,200 workers, or about 10 percent of the Sam's Club workforce, in response to its lagging performance.

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