NEW YORK (AP) - Target is having labor pains. Until recently, the Minneapolis-based discounter had avoided the labor disputes that plagued Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer. But now Target could face the same union opposition as its much bigger rival.

Target had its first union election in two decades in June amid allegations by workers of skimpy wages and reduced hours at a Valley Stream, N.Y. store.

The measure ultimately failed but the labor dispute -- and Target's handling of it -- is widely seen as a precursor to a bubbling national battle between Target and labor groups similar to the one Wal-Mart has been locked in for at least a decade.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)