In 1937, the Philadelphia employees of American Stores and A&P Supermarkets founded the Retail Clerks and Managers Protective Association Local 1357. By 1963, Local 1357 represented some 4,000 members in Philadelphia-area supermarkets.
By the end of the decade, through the organizing work of the Local’s then President, Wendell W. Young, III, more than 10,000 non-food retail workers and department store employees had joined Local 1357. In 1971, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board clerks joined the ranks of the expanding union, and through the 1980’s the Local added food processing workers, boot and shoe factory workers, health care workers, clerical and professional administrators, insurance agents, barbers, hairdressers and cosmetologists.
In 1980 the International Retail Clerks International Association merged with the Amalgamate Meat cutters to create the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. In May of 1989, to celebrate the unity of so diverse a union membership, Local 1357 adopted the historic number "1776.” And in 1998 the Local merged with UFCW Local 72, which represented workers throughout Northeast and Central Pennsylvania, to create the current-day UFCW Local 1776.
On May 1st, 2018, UFCW Local 1776 and UFCW Local 23 merged to create UFCW Local 1776 Keystone State. UFCW Local 23 represented workers throughout Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio.
Today, UFCW Local 1776 Keystone State represents 35,000 members who work throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York, and Ohio in grocery stores, drugstores, food processing plants, government services, manufacturing facilities, nursing homes, professional offices, Pennsylvania’s Wine and Spirits Shops, and medical cannabis facilities. The officers of the Local are Wendell Young IV, President; Michele Kessler, Secretary-Treasurer; and Bellew Asfa; Recorder.
UFCW Local 1776 represents its members in negotiation with employers on contracts covering wages and benefits. It protects the rights, dignity, and safety of its members in the workplace. It advocates for its members on public policy issues that affect working men and women and their families and it organizes workers who lack representation and a voice in their workplace.
The Local has played a leading role in the labor movement in developing ground-breaking benefits for many of its members, including post-secondary tuition reimbursement benefits, child daycare benefits, legal benefits, physical well-being programs and members’ assistance programs. Local 1776 is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers International, which is based in Washington, DC.
The President of UFCW International is Anthony "Marc" Perrone.