UFCW Local 464A : History

The History of UFCW Local 464A


The history of UFCW Local 464A commences in 1939 with the establishment of Local 389, which comprised 120 members working in meat markets around Paterson, New Jersey. A one-room office was rented on Bridge Street in Paterson. The office 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 – 1956

In 1947 the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America merged Locals 39, 389 and 261 with a successor that emerged as Local 464. Irving Kaplan was elected President and John Niccollai was elected Secretary-Treasurer. Membership totaled approximately1000 butchers and meat cutters, necessitating relocation of the union offices  to 1060 Broad Street in Newark. Several months later Local 177 of the Poultry Workers Union, comprising 125 members and headed by Irving Levy was also merged into Local 464.

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

Paterson, NJ 1969: John Niccollai Opens Labor Campaign

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

In 1963 the union again relocated 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 outgrew its facilities in East Orange, which necessitated a move to its current headquarters in Little Falls, New Jersey. The new building consisted of 36,000 square feet, providing an 8,000 square foot meeting hall as well as in-house dental, optical and legal services.

1972: 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


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


In 1979 the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and the Retail Clerks union consummated a merger and formed the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). Local 464 was given the designation "A" and became known as UFCW Local 464A.




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

In the 1980's UFCW Local 464A embarked upon the construction of a diagnostic and medical center to be located adjacent to the union offices in Little Falls. The center was completed and operational in 1982 providing free medical care to both fulltime and part-time members.

In recent decades Local 464A has continued to grow its membership, which presently stands at nearly 20,000. It is one of the few remaining organizations providing no co-pay medical coverage, dental, vision and prescription plans and a defined benefit pension plan to both its fulltime and part-time members.