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More details sought about jobs, wages at proposed Target store

It may not be on the agenda, but the permit for a Target at Coddingtown Mall is likely to come up again Thursday at Santa Rosa's Planning Commission meeting.

Marty Bennett, co-chair of the Sonoma County Living Wage Coalition, said the group will ask the commission to reconsider its vote in light of the flawed employment information provided two weeks ago by a Target executive.

"We think Target should be forthcoming with its wage and benefit information," Bennett said.

On June 14, the commission voted 4-0 to grant a use permit for a 143,000-square-foot Target to replace the former Gottschalks building, which has been vacant since 2009.

At the meeting, John Dewes, a Target regional development manager, dismissed Bennett's claims that the retailer would be mostly hiring part-time workers at low wages. Dewes said 60 percent of employees would be full-time and 80 percent would receive benefits.

A spokeswoman later acknowledged that Dewes had mixed up the full-time and part-time ratios and would be clarifying his remarks with the commission.

"Some of my information was incorrect and I am sincerely sorry for this error," Dewes wrote in a letter received by the city Wednesday.

Dewes said he "unintentionally inverted" the full-time and part-time ratios. Thirty-five to 45 percent of Target employees are typically full-time, he wrote. That means 55 to 65 percent will be part-timers. Half of those part-timers will work 20 to 32 hours per week, enough to qualify for the same benefits as full-timers.

These include health care, a 401(k) plan, employee discounts and paid holidays.

"Target's wage and benefit packages for full and part-time team members are among the best in the retail industry," Dewes wrote. "Our goal is to attract, retain, and motivate top talent."


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