Giant and Shoppers members from Stafford, Va. took action at their neighborhood Walmart last Wednesday. Back row (L-R): Jeremy Parker, Patrick Loweny, Waqas Ahmad. Front Row (L-R): Jim Hepner, Michele Hepner, Kim Sullivan, Tiffany Flowers, Kayla Mock and Diane Altizer. Photo courtesy of Geni McCauley.

Warning Walmart customers that shopping there lowers living standards and threatens the middle class, Local 400 members from Giant  #243 and Shoppers #2732 in Stafford, Va., leafleted a neighboring big box on Garrisonville Rd. last Wednesday.

Members passed out 200 fliers in Walmart’s parking lot to customers and associates educating them about the importance of good jobs with living wages and benefits. The members also expressed their support for Walmart associates who are joining together through Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) to improve their working conditions and gain respect on the job.

The Walmart reopened last month after undergoing a renovation to include the sale of groceries. This change threatens to take away business from the other retail shops in the area including Giant and Shoppers stores.

Maintaining and expanding market share for Giant and Shoppers is important as their workers fight for fair contracts in 2012. Giant’s contract expires March 31, 2012 and Shoppers’ expires July 7, 2012. Thousands of Local 400 members are joining Local 400’s Activist Contract Team (ACT!), working on the shop floor and in their local communities in support of their upcoming negotiations. ACT! volunteers serve as communication links with co-workers, help organize members for Solidarity actions, take on special direct action assignments to bring the companies to terms, and transform into strike captains if a work stoppage becomes necessary.