The History of UFCW Local 464A

The history of Local 464A commences in 1939 with the establishment of Local 389, which comprised 120 members in the meat markets around Paterson, New Jersey. A one-room office was rented on Bridge Street in Paterson. The room was heated by a potbellied stove and telephone service was provided from a pay phone located in the candy shop next door.

L to R: John Niccollai, Irving Kaplan, Irving Levy – 1956L to R: John Niccollai, Irving Kaplan, Irving Levy – 1956

In 1947 the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America merged Locals 39, 389, and 261 with the successor emerging as Local 464. Irving Kaplan was elected President and John Niccollai Secretary-Treasurer. Membership totaled around 1000 butchers and meat cutters and the union offices were moved to 1060 Broad Street, Newark. Several months later Local 177 of the Poultry Workers Union comprising 125 members and headed by Irving Levy was merged into Local 464.

In the late 1940's and early 1950's Local 464 launched organizational drives against the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company and finally, in 1952, was successful in winning recognition on behalf of A&P employees.

Paterson, NJ 1969: John Niccollai Opens Labor CampaignPaterson, NJ 1969: John Niccollai Opens Labor Campaign

From the early 1950's to the early 1960's membership grew steadily. The local attained a membership of almost 12,000 with the 1960's holding the promise of more growth via independent and cooperative supermarkets such as Shop Rite, PathMark, Foodtown, and King's.

In 1963 the union moved its headquarters to a newly constructed and purchased building on Sanford Street in East Orange, New Jersey.

As growth continued in the 1970's the union expanded beyond its facilities in East Orange, which necessitated the move of the union headquarters to Little Falls, New Jersey. The new building consisted of 36,000 square feet, providing an 8,000 square foot meeting hall, in-house dental, optical and legal services.

1972 Amalgamated Meat Cutters Conv. FL: 1972 Amagamated Meatcutters Convention, photographer unknown1972: Amalgamated Meat Cutters Convention

By the late 1970's membership had increased to over 15,000. The local union was busy increasing and improving benefit programs and could proudly point to the following:

  • Self-Insured Hospital, Medical & Surgical Plan
  • Major Medical Coverage
  • Prescription Drug Program
  • Preventive Care Mobile Medical Van Services
  • Dental and Optical Programs
  • Pension Program
  • Prepaid Legal Services
  • Credit Union

 

Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workers with Retail Clerks - 1979

1979 Convention - The Merger of The Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workers
with Retail Clerks

 

In 1979, at the international level, the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and the Retail Clerks consummated a merger and formed the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). Local 464 was given the designation "A" and would now be known as UFCW Local 464A.

President John T. Niccollai meets Pope John-Paul II in Rome

President John T. Niccollai meets Pope John-Paul II in Rome –  1982

In the early 1980's Local 464A embarked upon the construction of a diagnostic and medical center to be located adjacent to the union office in Little Falls. The center was completed and operational in 1982 providing free medical care to both full time and part time members. The 1980's saw further growth for Local 464A, which presently has a membership of nearly 20,000.

The future of Local 464A is very promising. We continue to enjoy a period of growth that began several years ago when many union employers began building or acquiring additional stores. Our membership is experiencing full-employment and, fortunately, one of our greatest concerns is finding qualified people to staff the new stores. We project continued membership growth.

The success of any organization is attributable to people who place the needs of individuals collectively above the needs of the individual alone. To our past leadership and membership we say, "Thank you for all you have given us and we pledge that we shall carry on the tradition of UFCW Local 464A with pride and zeal."