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Dayton Hudson Now Sees Jobs Issue From a New Perspective

July 12, 1987

I must congratulate Dayton Hudson for its success in manipulating the Minnesota Legislature in its recent efforts to keep Dart Group from taking over the company ("Minnesota Passes Law to Help Thwart Takeover of Dayton Hudson," June 26).

This threat brought to light an emotion hitherto unheard of in a major corporation. They were actually worried about their 34,000 employees in Minnesota. The state legislators, probably never once thinking of these people as potential voters, rammed through whatever the company requested of them, this being probably the most serious situation confronting the Legislature since an Indian uprising in 1862.

This caring attitude that Dayton Hudson is exhibiting toward its employees is certainly admirable. It would be all the more so if it were consistently the way the company dealt with labor situations. But as I recall, when the shoe was on the other foot, Dayton spoke from the other side of its mouth. When Dayton Hudson purchased Gemco stores from Lucky, some asked: "What about the 9,000 or so employees of Gemco?" At the time the answer was: "We bought stores and land, not employees."

From a strictly economic viewpoint, this is understandable. Now there are 34,000 employed voters in Minnesota who will continue shopping at Mervyns and Target stores. But, as they say, "what goes around comes around." I only hope there are at least 9,000 Californians who won't shop at Mervyns and Target, especially if they can remember that the new Target store in their neighborhood was a Gemco.

PHILLIP A. FEARS

Los Angeles

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