Monday, May 2, 2016

President Bruce W. Both Retires

Former President Bruce W. Both with the Local 1500 Executive Board

At his last Executive Board meeting an emotional President Both announced he would be retiring effective May 1, 2016. The rarely publicly emotional President gave a heartfelt speech, “My family has been a part of this union since 1930. As members, and part of the Union staff. This is a difficult day for me to announce we will no longer be a part of Local 1500. I love this union with all my heart. We have the best staff, serving the best union members,” Both said.

President Both led multiple fights to keep Walmart out of NYC
After his speech Executive Board member Anthony Drago shared his feelings on Both’s tenure, “Bruce did not have an easy road to navigate as President. The massive healthcare changes and significant legislation that affects union contracts have changed bargaining in the last 10 years, it’s not the way it used to be. He never faltered, though. He stayed strong and never backed down from a fight, always told us how it really was. We respect him and thank him for his service as President.” Bruce first became a member of Local 1500 in the late 1960’s working for the H.C. Bohack Supermarket Company. As a member in the stores, and on Union staff, Bruce has a collective 40 years of service as a UFCW Local 1500 member.

In 1999 Bruce was elected as Secretary-Treasurer, and in 2004 Bruce was elected President of UFCW Local 1500. In January 2007, Bruce was elected International Vice President of the UFCW. Throughout his 10 years of leadership, Bruce successfully secured the future of our union by increasing our welfare fund significantly.

Bruce also brought UFCW Local 1500 to a new union headquarters with state of the art technology, moving the union from a rent-paying tenant in Queens Village, to an owner at 425 Merrick Ave. in Westbury, NY. The new building features a full state of the art Union Hall, where general membership meetings, blood drives, fundraisers, dinners and various other events are hosted.

Bruce finished his last Executive Board meeting with these words, "I am leaving this organization the way I came in, quietly and with dignity."

We thank Bruce for his service as President, and wish him congratulations, and a healthy, happy retirement. Wishes, cards and notes to former President Both may be sent to the union office, addressed to Bruce W. Both.

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