Bold 2016 Walmart Worker Strategy Announced For National Walmart Campaign

Campaign Strategy Memo Highlights Aggressive New Walmart Workers Advisory Council & Walmart Workers Leadership 500 Project

WASHINGTON--()--UFCW’s Making Change at Walmart (MCAW)” and OUR Walmart campaign, the national campaign to change Walmart, revealed a new and bold national Walmart worker strategy for 2016. This new strategic direction, which will begin its first phase in the fall of 2015, will build on the group’s unprecedented national Walmart workers outreach effort that already includes over a hundred senior Walmart workers leading and advising these effort, and over 50,000 Facebook supporters.

“We’ve already accomplished so much by working together, and we must grow this campaign in a bolder direction,” said Qulima Knapp, a Walmart associate at store #896 in Grand Prairie, Tex. “That’s why I’m excited by this new strategy, and look forward to help lead and shape our new Leadership 500 Project. As an OUR Walmart member, I want to recruit new Walmart workers who will help lead this campaign in an ever bold new direction in 2016.”

As the campaign’s “2016 Change Walmart Strategy Memo” outlines, to build on the group’s and worker led momentum, MCAW is announcing a new “Walmart Workers Advisory Council” to help advise, shape and lead the 2016 outreach efforts, and new a “Leadership 500 Project” that will recruit over 500 new Walmart workers leaders and activists across 50 states. These critical new workers outreach efforts will not only build on the Walmart worker support that is growing every day, it will represent the foundation of a bold multi-layered campaign strategy that will reach Walmart customers in stores across this nation.

“I have worked at Walmart for almost seven years and it must change for the better. Working together, Walmart workers and the UFCW can make this happen,” said Barbara Gertz, a Walmart associate at store #5334 in Aurora, Colo. “I am so excited that I get this opportunity to talk to Walmart workers myself, tell them my own story, and explain why they should join with us in speaking out. Our strategy in 2016 and the network of Walmart workers and supporters is going to be stronger and louder than ever before.”

The UFCW and OUR Walmart campaign leaders, as well as the new 500 leaders project, will be supported by an expanded effort that includes substantial resources committed to grassroots outreach, coordinated local media events, an emphasis on building additional local community partners and allies, a “Walmart worker to Walmart worker” social media campaign, and an innovative and creative paid media effort that will highlight the real struggles of Walmart workers and their families. Additional highlights of the strategy memo are outlined below, the entire “2016 Change Walmart Strategy” memo can be viewed by clicking here.

“One thing I’ve always liked about the UFCW and OUR Walmart campaign is the broad network of worker support we built together,” said Daniel Miller, a Walmart associate at store #386 in Jennings, La. “In the coming months, we’re going to be building on that like never before. I’ve never been more excited about this effort. With this bold campaign, we have a real chance to change Walmart for the better.”

“Fighting back against Walmart has always felt like a David vs. Goliath battle,” said Charmaine Givens-Thomas, a Walmart associate at store #5485 in Evergreen Park, Ill. “By taking a new direction, by changing our strategy, by reaching out to workers, customers, and the public like never before, we will make it impossible for Walmart to ignore. We will force them to make real and lasting change.”

Among the critical highlights of the “2016 Change Walmart Strategy” memo are:

Walmart Workers Advisory Council & Our Leadership 500 Project. Looking ahead, by utilizing a series of strategic actions at Walmart stores, expanding our recruitment efforts over social and paid media, and mobilizing local organizers, our goal in 2016 is to assemble a larger Walmart workers leadership team of over 500 workers across the United States, as well as to facilitate the election of a new Walmart workers advisory council.

Going Local: Mobilizing Community & Legislative Allies. Our 2016 goal is to target not just our traditional allies, but to reach out to local veterans, taxpayers’ groups, and advocates for women and children, that will help echo our message that Walmart must change. Walmart workers in these communities will be critical to leading these outreach efforts. By going “more local,” we will be utilizing not only our 1,000 UFCW local unions, but we will also compliment these local efforts with our federal and grassroots supporters. As part of this effort, we will, beginning this month, launch a “Tell Walmart to Do What is Right” local outreach effort that will target over 7,382 state legislators, and over 20,000 local officials and legislators.

The Constant Public Drum Beat: A 5-Week Holiday Campaign Kick Off. Walmart expects and wants nothing more than for the OUR Walmart campaign to be about one day or one set of actions. However, to force Walmart to change and help Walmart workers, our campaign of change must be about every day and a series of actions. The simple fact is that the plight of Walmart workers is not contained to Black Friday alone. Walmart workers suffer every day. Beginning on or around the week of Black Friday, we will be pursuing the first 5-week mini-campaign strategy that will include a series of coordinated actions and events across multiple media markets. The goal is a simple one – to reach tens or hundreds of thousands of Walmart workers, as well as millions of Walmart customers.

Grassroots Social Media – The “Walmart Workers To Walmart Workers” Outreach Program. As part of our new worker outreach strategy, our campaign will utilize social media to target and establish initial contacts with current and former Walmart workers. Members of our Walmart workers leadership team, as well as other Walmart workers that are active in the campaign, will make any follow-up to these new worker contacts. The intent here is an obvious one – Walmart workers who want to know about the campaign must hear and learn about our mission from other Walmart workers. The 2016 “Walmart Workers to Walmart Workers” social media campaign will be launching a new test pilot project beginning the week of September 17th and will run for at least seven days across Facebook, Twitter, and other social media or online platforms.

The David vs. Goliath Media Strategy – We Will “Be David.” To overcome the power of Walmart’s “Goliath” multi-billion dollar advertising and PR budget, our campaign will become the proverbial David. We will be reinforcing our Walmart workers outreach efforts, our on-the-ground actions, and our “Walmart Workers to Walmart Workers” social media campaign, with an extremely innovative and targeted paid online, broadcast, and local TV ad campaign that is about and for Walmart workers.

The memo can be read in full here: Campaign spokespeople and Walmart workers are available to speak to the media.


Jess Levin, 202-466-1576


Jess Levin, 202-466-1576