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In January of 1937, five meat cutters who worked for First National Grocery Stores in Rhode Island, including two future presidents of Local 328 (Sam DiSano & Joseph Crowley) met with the general manager, Byron Fleming of the company’s Providence Division. They asked for the same wages, workweek and working conditions as the Boston Division of the Company, who were represented by Local 592 of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workmen of North America. Quickly rebuffed by the general manager, Sam DiSano replied with truly prophetic words: “We’re going to form a union in Rhode Island”.
This was the beginning of Local 328.
Later that year, 984 workers voted 85% ‘Union Yes’ and became the newly chartered Local 328 of the Amalgamated Meat Cutters & Butcher Workmen of North America.
Its first president was Walter Powe. Its second president, Joseph Crowley was killed in action liberating France in 1945. Jim Casey became president next. Then, in 1948, Salvatore “Sam” DiSano became president and served the local union for 24 years. Sam’s hard work and dedication to the members and their families is a story unto itself. His tremendous organizing efforts brought the union to 6,000 members. Upon his retirement, Sam was appointed Director of the Rhode Island Department of Labor by then-governor Phillip Noel.
Who We Are Today
In the 30 plus years since Sam’s retirement, Local 328 has grown to over 11,000 members across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, serving the needs of workers in a myriad of industries including retail food, institutional food, healthcare, banking, transportation, recycling, manufacturing, barbers and cosmetologists.
Today, we have collective bargaining agreements with:
Bob’s Discount Furniture (Attleboro)
Chartwells Cafeteria Workers at Norton & Martha’s Vineyard
Eastland Food Products
First Student Dennis/Yarmouth Bus Drivers
First Student Providence Dispatchers/Bus Monitors
Landmark Medical Center
New Bedford Jewish Convalescent Home
Oak Hill Nursing Home
Rhode Island Credit Union
Roger Williams University
Stop & Shop
Stop & Shop Fulfillment Center
Summit Commons Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center
Woodlawn Federal Credit Union
The everyday operations at Local 328 still continue at 278 Silver Spring Street in Providence, Rhode Island, which has been our home for 42 years. Servicing the membership, organizing new members, and constant negotiations for new and existing contracts keep our full-time staff very active. These contracts guarantee wages, benefits, working conditions and job security for our members. It is the job of our union representatives to ensure these contracts are enforced, while our organizing department stays busy helping workers go through the process of joining Local 328 to gain a voice on the job to improve their benefits and working conditions.
Founded : 1937
President : Tim Melia
Mission : Our union stands up for working people to help give workers a seat at the table to negotiate for a better job and a better life for themselves, their co-workers and their families.
Tim started his involvement with Local 328 back in 1982 while working as a deli clerk for Star Market on Barton St. in Pawtucket, RI. and continued his involvement working for other unionized companies such as the Heartland in Seekonk, MA before finally ending up with A&P on Cape Cod where he worked as a meat cutter, head cutter and meat manager.
In 1995, Tim became a member of the Local 328 Executive Board and two years later was hired by the Local as a union organizer. Tim’s work with the local has changed over the years, ranging from his time as a Union Representative up to his job as the Executive Assistant to the President, a position he held for 10 years. He became President of Local 328 in September 2015.
Tim also volunteers his time serving on the Executive Board of the Greater Southeastern Massachusetts Central Labor Council, as well as sitting on the Executive Committee of the Cape Cod and Islands Workforce Investment Board.
Tim, who grew up in Pawtucket, RI, is now a resident of Yarmouthport, Massachusetts where he has lived for over 30 years along with his wife Lori-Ann Melia.
President : Tim Melia
UFCW Local 328 : 278 Silver Spring St, Providence, Rhode Island 02904
Email : http://ufcw328.org/contact/
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