The Night Crew Whisperer, Michael Colaizzo

Local 338 Executive Board Member Michael Colaizzo grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and joined Local 338 as a part-timer working at the Big Apple Supermarket in Manhattan. In his early days as a union member, Mike grew inspired by the camaraderie and solidarity that came with being a Local 338 worker. He understood the benefits associated with union membership and sought to strengthen the labor movement with his fellow coworkers through active participation and volunteering whenever he could.

Mike often worked the night shift, experiencing a world many Local 338 essential workers might find unfamiliar. Mike enjoys updating his fellow members about major union news, participating in political discussions and trying to solve local problems occurring in the stores. Mike always attends union events in order to stay active while also working on the night crew 6 days a week at Stop & Shop on Staten Island. While the work of all Shop Stewards is noble and challenging, it can be difficult for a day crew Shop Steward to completely understand the experiences of someone who works overnight.

Mike found his call to duty and uses his unique position as a night crew employee to represent the needs and issues these members encounter at Executive Board meetings. He often stresses the night shift presents a very different, but equally important role as the day shift. The night shift is very physically demanding, requiring enormous energy for a job occurring when most people are already fast asleep. It’s repetitious, often requiring tremendous, continuous focus to ensure everything is done correctly. Mike often says, “to be a night crew worker, you must be focused and ready to work. You can’t come into work tired or lazy. Honestly, it takes a strong will to work at night.”

Michael is a leader at Local 338 in order to make the lives of his coworkers better and easier. He understands the responsibility that comes with being an essential worker in the new world we find ourselves in. Mike shoulders the enormous burden of working during the pandemic because to him, being there for his community is important and necessary. When Mike isn’t serving his community, he enjoys watching baseball, hockey or horse racing and spending time with his three kids and two grandchildren. Michael has these words to share with his fellow member, “I’m a member first. On the Executive Board, I am your voice. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy and hopefully this will be over soon. Make sure you get vaccinated when you can and stay positive!”