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 feel free to e-mail any grievances or other concerns which are urgent and require immediate attention to This email address is monitored 7 days a week and most times outside of traditional business hours for the Union office. 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, is a violation of the Union contract and that you object to such a requirement. No matter what happens next you should notify your store shop steward and call or email your Union Representative. This is the type of behavior that may not seem like a big deal at the time but can easily cause members to lose hundreds of dollars a year if it isn’t stopped immediately. Let’s face it, almost all of the work performed in your stores is work that is supposed to be done by a member so why would anyone want to do it for free?

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

If you believe that the interview could lead to you being disciplined, immediately request to call your Union Representative. You should do this BEFORE participating in the interview or answering any questions. Your company must wait a reasonable amount of time for the representative to arrive before beginning the interview. Please be advised that your employer has the right to, and may suspend you if you delay the interview. If that happens you should calmly get up, leave the interview and contact your Union Representative immediately. We always recommend that this is a better result than the risk of going through the interview process without proper representation.  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, Some Key Food’s, ShopRite, King Kullen, Tops, Some IGA’s, Wild by Nature, Morton Williams, Holiday Farms, Food Bazaar, Food Emporiums, Gristede’s, King’s, D’Agostino’s.

Q. How can I get involved with the Union?

There are literally dozens of ways that you can get involved with your Union throughout the year. However, you should always start by finding out who the shop steward (many stores have more than one) is in your store and introducing yourself to him/her. The shop steward is the first line of connection for every member to their store Union Representative and they typically have a host of useful information at store level available for you. Obviously, you have already found our website which is chock full of information about your Union, the benefits that we provide to all of our members, a little bit about your Union’s history, a listing of your Union Representatives, the stores we represent and a calendar of our current events.

Local 1500 always does a great deal of charity work and hosts, sponsors or runs multiple fundraising events throughout the year. This is a great way for members to meet up, talk and discuss the value that belonging to a Union provides them and their family. Throughout the year we do fundraising events at Comedy clubs, baseball games, bowling alleys, Eisenhower Park, Jones Beach and we even do a fishing trip. Your shop stewards, Union Representatives, this website and all of our Social Media accounts will be the fastest way to get this information so that you can attend.

General Membership meetings are held quarterly at Frank Meehan Hall, our Union Office, located at 425 Merrick Ave. Westbury, NY 11590, and we recommend that all members attend. If you cannot attend in person, we broadcast every meeting on facebook live for everyone’s convenience. Your Union holds various other meetings throughout the year for many different reasons. We do area based membership meetings, contract update meetings, we march in the Labor Day Parade (in NYC) and run two blood drives every year!

Your Union is also very politically active throughout our jurisdiction. We have to be so that we can help protect the working families of New York and the rest of the Metropolitan Area. If you are interested in politics or learning more about who your Union supports and why please email us at or call 516-214-1305 for more information.

Your Union is an organizing Union. What this means is that we are always trying to grow our Union family by talking to non-union workers throughout our jurisdiction about the benefits of belonging to our Union and how we can make their working conditions better. This is not an easy task and we encourage all Union members to assist our organizing department in their efforts every day. Believe it or not the best way to deliver this message is through our current members. When a current Union member speaks to a non-union worker about their benefits it is much more real, after all the people you are speaking with will do a job very similar to yours and easily be able to relate. For information on how you can assist the organizing department please email us at or call 516-214-1315 (Bruce Farrands) or 516-214-1361 (Rafael Hernandez) Hablo Español for more information.

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 1315, 1361.

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 provides 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 the 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.