Frequently Asked Questions

If your question is not answered here please e-mail the Union at: or call the Union Office at: (800) 522-0456

Important Notice: Members should not e-mail any grievances or other concerns which are urgent and require immediate attention. Thank you.

Q. What do I do if I feel my employer is harassing me?

UFCW Local 1500 members who are the subject of Employer harassment should immediately contact their Union Representative and explain the nature of the problem. Do not refuse to perform a job (unless your health or safety are at risk) or become insubordinate. Report the incident as soon as possible after it occurs so that it can be properly investigated.

Q. What if my manager asks me to work off the clock?

You should explain that “off the clock work” is prohibited by law and that you object to such a requirement.

Q. What should I do if my manager or security forces me to participate in an interrogation interview?

If you believe that as a result of the interview you may be disciplined, immediately order to call your Union Representative before participating in the interview. Your company must wait a reasonable amount of time for the representative to arrive before beginning the interview.  These rights are your Weingarten Rights and are federally protected.  No Employer may interrogate you without your Union Representative present at the meeting.

Q. What do I do if I see employees working off the clock?

You should document the time and day of the off the clock work. This specific information should be reported to your Union Representative. Allegations which are accompanied by specific facts are always easier to defend.  Also note who else may have observed the off the clock work.

E-mail questions and suggestions to:

Q. Which food stores in New York are unionized?

Stop & Shop, Fairway Market, Pathmark, Dairy Barn, Waldbaum’s, Some Key Food’s, Shop Rite,  King Kullen, Gristede’s, King’s, D’Agostino’s.

Q. How can I get involved with the Union?

If you are already a Local 1500 member, you can participate in our picket lines at non-union stores. For more information concerning ongoing picket lines, call 800-522-0456.

General Membership meetings are held quarterly at our Union Office (425 Merrick Ave. Westbury, NY 11590) we recommend all members to attend.  We also do a variety of community service and political work throughout New York State, for more information please email

Q. How do I organize my workplace?

If you are not a member, but would like to learn more about organizing your workplace call Local 1500's Organizing Department at 1-800-522-0456 ext 11322

Q. What is the Active Ballot Club or ABC?

The Active Ballot Club is the UFCW political action committee. Its purpose is to endorse and support candidates and issues that protect working people like us. You can become a member and help ensure that historical rights of working men and women such as the 8-hour day and health and safety protections are not eliminated. For more information about how to join, contact your Union Representative.

Q. How do I request a copy of my Contract?

Call your Union Representative or send us an email to the following information:

  • Name
  • Employer
  • Store # (Or Address)
  • Address

Q: Why are unions important?

There are lots of advantages to union representation. A worker may join a union for any number of reasons. The truth is that most workers join unions to protect themselves from management's unfair, arbitrary or even malicious behavior.

Q: What are union dues? What are they used for?

Union dues is the money paid to a union to help pay for the union support staff, legal costs, negotiation costs, arbitrator's fees, etc. Dues can range anywhere from $200-$500 a year depending on the industry, the union, and/or the amount of money the average union member takes home.

Q: What is a "union shop"?

To be a union shop means that all employees within the collective bargaining unit must be a part of the union or at least pay their fair share to the union for representation services. It is a standard clause contained within union and labor contracts. It enables the union to bargain from a stronger position. This not only serves the individual union member, but all the other members employed in the company.

Q: What is a union "local"?

Large unions conduct themselves like business corporations. While a company may have headquarters in New York, they may have branches spread throughout the world. The same formula is found within the union world. The local is the bottom of the totem pole, yet often provide the most service. Locals establish bargaining contracts; provide members with mediation; oversee day to day activities and most importantly - Provide union members across the nation with a solid and real institution in which to do business.

Q: What do "International" unions do?

International unions are heavily involved in legislation. They lobby Congress for changes in labor and employment law. Laws that benefit the average worker are the most important to these International representatives. International Unions also provide help to locals that are in need as well as coordinate national organizing efforts.

Q: If my company faces the possibility of unionization, what should I expect?

At some point the employees are asked to sign a union card. Upon obtaining the signatures of 65-75% of the employees in the company, a bargaining unit is formed. It is possible to form this unit with as few as 30% of the employees. However, it's best to wait for a solid majority, as the company can seek to punish signed members. The cards are then submitted to The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) - a government agency that oversees union/management relations. The bargaining unit is finalized either by the NLRB or by agreement between the company and union. When the unit is finalized, an election date is set and majority vote wins. Tensions mount high at this critical time as both the company and union supporters aggressively engage in a war of the workers.

Q: How democratic are unions?

The whole process of forming and becoming part of a union is democratic in nature. You get to decide if you want to sign the card. You decide which way you want to vote. You decide what goes into the contract. You decide which employees will be in the bargaining unit. In fact, almost all union activities are subject to a vote by the membership.