Local 1233 FCU: Serving Longshoremen of the Port of Newark for Almost 50 Years

Almost 50 years ago, Marvin Sykes decided that his fellow members of ILA Local 1233, Longshoremen of the Port of Newark, needed a safe, secure, and convenient way to manage their money, with an organization that understood their way of life.

Sykes, now a member of the credit union’s Credit Committee, spoke to Local 1233 FCU’s Manager, Khadjia Rover, about how the credit union got its start and how it has served longshoremen in the Newark area. Below, read Syke’s story as told by Rover…

 Odell Chisolm, Local 1233 FCU Vice President at the time (left)
with Marvin Sykes, Local 1233 FCU President at the time, one of the 
credit union's founders.

How did the credit union get its start?
The credit union got started in 1972 when the local union went on strike and there were no benefits and money for the workers. Marvin Sykes, who was the President of Local 1233 at the time, joined NJ Officers Credit Union to get a personal loan. When he joined, the Treasurer of NJ Officers CU, Mrs. Shugart, contacted the New Jersey Credit Union League to discuss with the Executive Board of Local 1233 how to form its own credit union.

Who were the key players?
Marvin Sykes, President, mentioned above, and Odell Chisolm were one of the first members to join the credit union. James Simmons, Vice President; Donald Yeldell, Credit Committee; Edgar Lee, Treasurer; and Charles Hill, Board of Directors, Education; also played a big role in the credit union’s start.

Why was the credit union formed, who was it established to serve?
The credit union was established to provide banking services for the members of ILA Local 1233 who were Longshoremen of the Port of Newark.

What was the need that the credit union was meeting that its members couldn’t find elsewhere?
Convenience, location, payroll deduction, and savings accounts.

Do you know how much the first deposit and/or loan was for?
The first loan with the credit union was $250.

What makes Local 1233 FCU different than other financial institutions?
Most loans are obtained without credit reports, and there’s the option of receiving different types of loans and competitive rates that you can’t find anywhere else.

Where was its first location?
The first and only location for the credit union was located at the ILA Local 1233 building located at, 731 South 10th street in Newark NJ.

How has the membership changed/grown over the years? What do you think was the cause for the membership growth?
More services were offered, and younger members in the industry joined to start saving. The membership of immediate families of Longshoremen and the growth of employment at the Port of Newark helped grow the credit union as well.

How did you become involved with the credit union?
Marvin Sykes’s father encouraged him to join NJ Officer’s Credit Union, which inspired Mr. Sykes to gain more interest in forming a credit union for his local union.

What keeps you involved in the industry?
Longevity on the job as a Longshoreman, dedication to the local as a longtime member, and being one of the first members to join the credit union since the beginning.

For more information on Local 1233 FCU, call 973-824-7246.