About UFCW Local 342
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342 represents approximately 9,000 men and women across Long Island, New York, the five boroughs of New York City, and locations in Westchester, Sullivan and Orange Counties, as well as New Jersey. Our Members work in Retail and Wholesale establishments, Supermarkets, Manufacturing, Processing, Distribution and Delivery businesses, and certain Healthcare units. Dating back to our roots as the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America, a large majority of our Members work in the Meat, Deli & Seafood departments of union supermarkets across our region.
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342 has been negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreements and comprehensive benefit programs for working people in New York and New Jersey for over 100 years. In 2017, more than 9,000 members who work in a variety of industries and professions are protected by a contract negotiated by UFCW Local 342.
In our opinion, the most important function of Local 342 and any other Union is negotiating and administering legally-binding contracts on behalf of actively participating members. Carefully constructed contracts are crucial to all Union members as they set forth fair wages, benefits, hours and working conditions. We are a service-oriented organization. It is not only our job but our sincere pleasure to work with our members toward achieving goals that secure fair wages and working conditions for all hard-working men and women. Local 342 sets the bar and fights for the highest standards of our industries.
Local 342 was founded in 1904 as a Union of butchers who worked in small, specialized meat shops. As time passed and “supermarkets” began to develop by merging produce, meat, and dairy businesses under a singular entity, the dynamics of Local 342 changed and expanded. In the early 1950s, Local 342 went through a period of enormous growth when we successfully organized New York area employees of the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) chain. It was during this time that Local 342 was able to gain the right to represent all employees of the New York area A&P chain as opposed to just their meat department employees, which had previously been the case. By the arrival of the 1980s, Local 342 represented almost every meat and seafood department on Long Island (including Brooklyn and Queens) and Staten Island. Additionally, as a result of diligent organizing and several mergers, Local 342 began to represent fresh/smoked fish workers, manufacturers, and distributors in these locations as well.
In 1987, Local 342 merged with Local 50, which itself had previously merged with a retail kosher local and a provision drivers and salesman local, to form Local 342-50. Several years later, the Union organized Mount Loretto-Mission of the Immaculate Virgin (MIV), and also merged with an independent Union representing the employees at Ozanam Hall Nursing Home. Then, in 1992, Local 342-50 merged with Local 1 of the Leather Goods and Novelty Workers Union, creating an even more diverse organization. Finally, on January 1, 2002, Local 342-50, through trusteeship, merged with Local 174 and became even stronger because it obtained a good majority of the New York City retail supermarkets as well as the Hunts Point and Brooklyn Meat Markets. This merger not only expanded our membership, but it also resulted in us changing our name back to Local 342, which we continue to be known as today.
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union
Local 342 is a part of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, a proud family of 1.3 million hard-working men and women working together to provide a better life for families. UFCW International represents workers across the United States and Canada in many industries including agriculture, health care, meatpacking, poultry and food processing, manufacturing, textile, chemical trades, and retail food. The UFCW was created in 1979 at a convention that merged the Retail Clerks International Union and the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America.
What else does Local 342 stands for?
UFCW Local 342 takes great pride in keeping our members safe in the workplace. We have an outstanding record regarding the safety of our members due to the high standards we set and the tireless commitment of our Safety Department in enforcing those standards. The Local 342 Safety Department strives to train our full-time and part-time members in safety practices and to correct hazardous conditions in their many varied workplaces.
UFCW Local 342 ensures that all our members are serviced and satisfied. Our Member Services representatives respond to our members’ questions and issues about benefits, pensions, savings plans, medical coverage, retirement, activities, opportunities and more. From our Call Center during business hours, to late Monday nights at our Area Offices, to shop visits, our Member Service Representatives are always happy to be helping our members.
The Leadership of UFCW Local 342 values higher education and considers our Scholarship Program one of the most important benefits available to Local 342 members and their dependents. It is with great pleasure that we provide members and their dependents with an opportunity to further their education at a decreased cost, whether at a four-year college, or by taking specialized courses.
Local 342 also understands the importance of developing and pursuing excellence at work and in our respective industries. Various workshops help give our members a chance to increase their knowledge within job related areas.
We care about our members, and we provide the support, information, education and benefits to ensure they have the opportunity to take proper care of themselves and their dependents.
Giving back to our communities
In addition to many fun and rewarding activities Local 342 members enjoy throughout the year like fishing and trips to Great Adventure, they also participate in numerous events that enrich our communities and bring our members together. They donate and deliver Easter baskets, Christmas gifts, and school supplies for children in our local communities who need support. They help feed hungry families Thanksgiving dinners and partner with the NALC for the Letter Carriers’ annual Stamp Out Hunger event. Our members also participate every year in walks and fundraisers for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer charity, and raised over $50,000 in 2016.