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Local 400 “Save My Store” Campaign Aims to Prevent Job Losses During Potential Corporate Merger

20160412-Fredericksburg Save My Store Town Hall - 9 20160412-Fredericksburg Save My Store Town Hall - 14On March 15, following the shareholders’ approval of a merger between Ahold and Delhaize, the parent companies of the grocery chains Giant Food, Food Lion, and Martin’s, employees at eight stores in Maryland and Virginia were informed that their stores may be sold as a result of the merger.

With the future of so many jobs at stake, Giant Food employees launched the “Save My Store” campaign the following week with a press conference and a petition to Ahold/Delhaize which is steadily gaining thousands of signatures from employees and customers.

The campaign also hosted a series of four town halls in the communities surrounding the threatened stores to bring together employees, customers, elected officials and other leaders to do whatever it takes to keep quality jobs and shopping options intact. So far, representatives of Ahold and Giant Food, who were also invited to attend the town halls, have refused to respond.

Following the town halls, the next phase of the campaign will be a rally and march to Giant’s corporate headquarters on May 11th.

To learn more about the campaign, and how you can support these hard-working men and women, visit SaveMyStore.org

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UFCW Joins Immigrant Rights Groups at the Supreme Court to Demand Justice for Immigrant Workers

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In the midst of an ongoing legal battle that has suspended President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, the UFCW joined labor leaders and immigrant families as they gathered at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday to demand the implementation of the president’s immigration programs. The deferred action programs, known as DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents) and expanded DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), would have provided immigration relief for over five million aspiring Americans. Unfortunately, the implementation of this program has been held up in the courts by an anti-immigrant lawsuit that has made its way to the Supreme Court.

Under strong pressure from the UFCW, the Obama Administration gave hard-working men and women the ability to apply for legal work status and some piece of mind. While these programs are temporary and not a substitute for comprehensive immigration reform, the UFCW knows that they are necessary and long overdue for our members.

Yesterday’s rally at the Supreme Court sent a strong message that the UFCW will continue pushing forward with our efforts to build worker power for immigrants and ensure that when the legal ruling on DAPA and expanded DACA are rendered, UFCW members are first in line when the application process begins.

West Plains Community Rallies Around Fired Walmart Worker

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On April 2, Frank Swanson, a Walmart cashier in West Plains, Missouri, who was 20 days shy of his 20th anniversary with Walmart, was terminated. At the time, Frank made $13.92/hour. Frank is 52 years-old, and suffered brain damage from an accident that took place when he was in 8th grade. He is also partially paralyzed on one side. He was eligible for disability payments when he turned 18, but he’s never received them. If you ask him why, he says he is able to work, so why shouldn’t he earn his money?

Frank is well-known at Walmart and in the town of West Plains for being a generous man who always helps out anyone who needs it. Former customers and members of the community tell stories about when Frank took money out of his own wallet to help someone pay for their groceries, or gave a hug to a woman fighting cancer, or helped them when their cart broke down in the store. Others know Frank because he regularly donates food, children’s clothes, and stuffed animals to people in need. He visits the town nursing home to see his elderly friends often.

“If you give people a hug, it reduces their blood pressure and they keep living, and keep coming back. They cut their nose off their face with this one because I was so good to customers,” said Frank, regarding why he liked to hug his Walmart customers.

Despite all this, Walmart fired Frank because they say he gave excessive price-matching discounts to customers, and because of the hugs. Frank says he asked permission before he hugged anyone, and often the hugs were initiated by his friends, his long-time customers.

“I know he kept a lot of people coming into Walmart who might not have,” said one West Plains resident.

Frank also took Walmart’s price-matching policy very seriously, and every week, studied up on competitor’s advertised prices. However, after management spoke to him about it, he only price-matched when a customer had evidence and brought up the competing price.

The West Plains community was so upset about Frank’s termination from Walmart thatthey organized a rally on Saturday morning, April 9, in the Walmart parking lot. Hundreds of people attended with signs that said “BE LIKE FRANK” and “WE LOVE YOU FRANK.” He greeted everyone with hugs, and before the event started, made sure there was enough water for everyone, and enough chairs for those who couldn’t stand up for very long. Many people who came to the rally stated that they would definitely stop shopping at Walmart in order to protest Frank’s firing.