Target is starting to hire staff for its new Thunder Bay location, but a labour union says Target's hiring process is unfair to former Zellers workers.  

While the United Food and Commercial Workers of Canada union is criticizing Target for not keeping former Zellers staff,  Target says Zellers workers who apply for jobs are guaranteed an interview.

"Zellers employees who apply for positions during our 2013 opening cycle, they will be guaranteed an interview," said Target spokesperson Tamar Nersesian, adding that, in some parts of the province, some have gotten jobs.

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A career fair is currently being held to recruit workers for the new Target store that will open this summer in Thunder Bay. (Nicole Ireland/CBC)

"For example, last week we opened three of our test pilot stores in Ontario in Guelph, Milton and Fergus and we do have a number of Zellers employees working in those locations."

'A lot of complaints'

But the national representative for the Food and Commercial Workers of Canada retail union says in areas where Target has already done its hiring, that "guaranteed interview" policy hasn't necessarily translated into jobs.

"What we've heard is a lot of complaints from Zellers workers who have had a lot of years of service and maybe have gone through two or three interviews and just don't get the job and are not given any reason either," Kevin Shimmin said, adding that Target should have offered jobs to Zellers employees when they bought the stores.

"The Zellers workers should have been given the choice to continue employment with Target and to continue with the wage rates and the benefits and the seniority that they'd achieved. It's the exact same sector, it's in the same buildings."

Target is holding a job fair in Thunder Bay this week for supervisor positions at the store that will open in the old Zellers at Intercity Mall sometime this summer. Target says it will hire 150-200 people in total for the store. 

Shimmin said he is worried that many of those positions won't be full-time. The details have not been disclosed as yet..

Target will have another job fair in Thunder Bay in the coming months to hire sales associates and other positions. Candidates can go to target.ca/careers and register for email alerts when the jobs are posted.