First chartered as the Retail Clerks International Association in 1941, today UFCW Local 1262 represents more than 30,000 members in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania employed by such giants in the retail food industry as ShopRite, Stop & Shop,  Foodtown, Acme, Tops Market, Dearborn Market and many others.

Prior to World War II retail food workers in the Northern New Jersey and Metro New York area were employed in “Mom and Pop” food outlets that were small and only employed a few workers per store.  After World War II, the age of the supermarket and giant food retailers began, as veterans returning from the War began to take advantage of growth and a change in lifestyle which fostered many communities and encouraged the building of larger stores with more employees.

The full effect of the age of the modern supermarket increased the sale of retail food and in the 1950s and 1960s many new methods of food merchandising began to change the complexion of the retail food industry.

Modern technology has always entered the supermarket industry at a fast pace. The introduction of the universal product code (UPC), which is now applied to almost every item of merchandise sold in the United States, had its beginning in the supermarket industry, and in particular, in the State of New Jersey and in UFCW Local 1262.  New technologies — such as self-scan and internet shopping — continue to emerge almost daily with the face of the modern supermarket ever changing to meet customers’ needs.

To protect the rights of individual employees and to see to it that their progress in their working careers parallels the growth of the companies they work for, UFCW Local 1262 regularly negotiates pacesetting new contracts that take the rights of individual workers and put them into contract language that ensures equal treatment for all in the workplace.

The 30,000 current members of UFCW Local 1262 are joined each day by new workers who have come into the Local Union, either by gaining employment with a Unionized employer, or by being part of successful efforts to organize non-union employers.

Today the retail food and general merchandising industries are facing many challenges, including increased competition from non-union food chains and retailers who do not provide their employees with the same wages and benefits negotiated for our members through their contracts.  Local 1262 fights hard to preserve the value and integrity of our union contracts from competition by non-union employers by participating in our region’s political arenas and in grassroots organizations.