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Al Norman celebrates 20 years of battling Walmart, other big-box retailers

Al Norman (right), talked with union steward Augie Santos, a Stop & Shop employee, during a recent book signing in Rhode Island.
Al Norman (right), talked with union steward Augie Santos, a Stop & Shop employee, during a recent book signing in Rhode Island.Joanne Rathe/ Globe Staff

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Al Norman was in his element standing at a podium before a crowd of more than 200 cheering union stewards in the events center at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I.

Norman has spent two decades in a personal quest to block Walmart Stores Inc. from opening new locations and found an enthusiastic ally in the United Food and Commercial Workers Union at the meeting earlier this month. The giant retailer is well known for its opposition to unions and UFCW members who gathered at Twin Rivers applaud loudly when Norman, 66, delivered his familiar message one more time.

“Walmart hates when I say this,” he told the crowd. “Walmart is like a cheap piece of underwear, they keep creeping up on you.”

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