Low prices may mean low standards when it comes to fair labor practices at big-box stores. Tashawna Green, the 21-year-old employee who Crain's calls the "face of the failed campaign to make a Valley Stream, L.I., store the first unionized Target in the country," was fired from her $8/hour job just weeks after the employees voted down union membership. Green, who has a 6-year-old daughter, says Target's management didn't take kindly to her push for unionization: "Because I'm for the union, they wanted to get rid of me."

Green and the UFCW Local 1500 have filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the NLRB against Target, alleging that the store fired Green after management noticed that she had been dropped off for work by a union rep long after the failed vote. Target, however, alleges that Green "recently acted in an overly hostile, disruptive manner that is inconsistent with Target's policies. They also claim Green "spread rumors that all staff members of Jamaican descent would be fired," as most of the workers who were from Jamaica supported unionizing.

Target is also fighting back with charges of their own, and say that Local 1500 reps "threatened and physically assaulted employees as they continued to seek support after the election loss." Wal-Mart, which has been attempting to build a store in New York City for some time (Target currently has 10) has pledged to play nice with unions. But given their track record, it may just be a hollow PR ploy.