Skip to main content

What's next? Current and former Target employees pause to ponder their future

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

It's 3 p.m. in Minneapolis and some downtown bars are packed.

The reason? Target has laid off 1,700 people from its corporate headquarters in the Twin Cities, and workers flooded downtown pubs on an unseasonably warm and sunny Tuesday.

There were hugs and handshakes aplenty as colleagues, friends and intimates consoled and commiserated at circumstances beyond their control.

They are the unfortunate victims of cuts wielded suddenly following last week's announcement that $2 billion would need to be saved in the next two years, that has left the Star Tribune fearing how the city will recover from such a loss of skilled workers. Workers will be getting a severance package of 15 weeks pay, plus extra for every year of service.

In Gluek's, the tables are covered with glasses and several of the bar's distinctive "beer towers" as Target members – ex and current – made the most of the fact that they were given the option of going home early, after arriving at work to be greeted by the ominous sight of flat-pack boxes.

Most of those in the bar were unwilling to talk, and the few who did preferred not to be named.

"We were told we had a meeting at 8:45 a.m., they pulled maybe 30 of us into a room," one of the laid-off workers in Gluek's told BringMeTheNews. "They told us: 'You are being released,' that we had some time to send some emails, and then they brought us back for a more nuanced meeting at 11:15 a.m."

"I was expecting an announcement," he added, "but I had expected it would be the managers to go today."

Morning 'meetings' appeared on calendars

In Kieran's Irish Bar, conversation is animated, and loud, with staff remarking it is busier than they have seen it for a long while at this time of day.

Two women who were willing to speak had kept their jobs, but they more than anyone else could sympathize with their co-workers who had been dealt devastating news.

They said those who were in the firing line had been sent emails requesting their presence at a morning meeting that appeared on internal calendars. Those left off the mailing list were given an apparent indication of safety, for now.

"It was a pretty somber atmosphere," one of them said. "It affected all areas, not just one specific area."

"Canada was a big mistake, and the data breach didn't help either," another similarly experienced worker, remarked: "They [the cuts] were not necessarily about performance, it was about getting the company back on its feet."

MPR says it is now on Target to provide reassurance for its remaining workers that their jobs are secure, having endured a difficult day bidding goodbye to co-workers and friends. But the company could not confirm that Tuesday's cuts will be the end of it.

'I've got to find a job'

The impact on Target workers is obvious, but the effect on nearby businesses could also be significant. The Star Tribune says the layoffs will "reverberate" around downtown Minneapolis, as 13 percent of Target's corporate staff are removed from the workforce.

Gluek's president Lee Holcomb says it's always bad news when jobs are lost downtown. But in spite of this, the atmosphere was not necessarily downhearted, with current co-owner Dave Holcomb saying there was a sense of hope as well.

"We were sad because everyone lost their jobs, but they seemed to be in fine spirits, they were not drowning in their misery," he said.

In Holcomb's bar, the now ex-Target worker ruminated on his next step.

"I've got to find a job," he said. "I'll just have to look around."

Next Up

nicolas blouin flickr fire hose

Fire departments decry drivers running over hoses, endangering crews

It happened in two separate Northland cities this week.

All Energy Solar - Bringing Panels to Roof

All Energy Solar reaches growth milestones with higher goals yet for 2022

Minnesota solar company continues to thrive through building a strong workforce

Royal Canadian Mounted Police maintoba crossing crop

Authorities ID family found frozen to death at MN-Canada border

They're still trying to unravel how they got there and who might have helped them.

covid

Mayo Clinic specialist: 'The omicron surge is not over'

Experts expect a rapid decline over the next month followed a period of calm.

police lights

Charges: Man in stolen Jeep leads police on 110 mph chase

He crashed into a light post near the Capitol and then fled on foot, the complaint says.

kua dog go fund me

Puppy in back of stolen Audi found, reunited with owner

The 4 1/2-month-old bullmastiff had been missing more than a week.

Fuzzy Gerdes Flickr Franks Diner Kenosha

WI's best 'hole-in-the-wall' diner is Guy Fieri-approved

Come for the "garbage pile," stay for ... even more breakfast food.

FKISmwPWUAYZJW6

Minnesota's pre-pro women's soccer team unveils name, logo

The new name and look was unveiled after community owners voted on a winner.

fentanyl DEA

21 people charged in connection to drug trafficking in northern MN

Police say the organization sold more than 10 pounds of heroin and fentanyl in northern Minnesota.

Band Box Diner Courtney Mault Flickr

MN's 'best hole-in-the-wall diner' is, sadly, currently closed

MSN recently published its pick for best diner in each state.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 27

Cases remain very high but hospitalizations have been plateaued for the past week.

Related