President Newell began his career as a UFCW Local 1500 member in July 1990, working part-time, as a cart clerk at the former Pathmark store, in Bay Shore, NY. Since joining the union staff in 1995, Rob has worked through nearly every department of the union. As an Organizer, Rob worked as a salt and played a significant role in successfully organizing Wild by Nature, an organic food chain, owned by King Kullen, currently with 5 locations on Long Island. Rob then spent a little over a year as a Membership Servicing Rep and in January 1998 he promoted to Union Representative. In his 11 years as a Union Rep Rob helped to protect and serve our members in the areas of Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan and both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. No matter what area he serviced, Rob’s members and Stewards were always tasked to be involved in Organizing Drives, fundraising and political assignments.
In October of 2009, Rob was appointed to Field Director, overseeing the Union Representatives of UFCW Local 1500. In June of 2013, he was unanimously voted onto the UFCW Local 1500 Executive Board as a Vice President. In October 2013, Rob was promoted to become the Assistant to the President. Rob has been actively involved in contract negotiations since 2006 and has been the lead negotiator for the Stop & Shop and Fairway contracts for many years. He has been a Pension & Welfare Trustee since 2007 and in January of 2014 he was elected Plan Manager of the UFCW Local 1500 Legal Service Fund.
On May 11, 2016, the UFCW Local 1500 Executive Board elected Rob Secretary-Treasurer. As the Secretary-Treasurer Rob negotiated dozens of contracts, emphasized long-range vision, renegotiated all of the Local Union’s vendor contracts, moved the Union much closer to operating paperless, developed policy, lead proactively and focused on key financial issues that will help guide Local 1500 long into the future.
On November 8th, in accordance with the Local Union bylaws, Rob assumed the duties of the President following the resignation of former President Anthony G. Speelman. Rob was unanimously elected President by the Executive Board on December 11th, 2019 and had his first chance to address the membership of this great Local Union later that evening at the General Membership Meeting. “I will do everything in my power to lead this Local Union in the spirit of both Frank Meehan and Tony Speelman. I take the responsibility given to me very seriously and will stop at nothing to continue to better the wages, working conditions and benefit packages of all of Local 1500’s members. This is a dream come true for me and I am truly honored and humbled by the opportunity.”
Rob graduated in 1991 from St. Anthony’s High School in South Huntington and in 1995 from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, NY, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minored in Criminal Justice and Applied Sociology. He currently resides in Suffolk County, NY, has one daughter, Aly Rose, and is an avid New York Rangers and Houston Texans Fan.