Printing and Publishing
Trade unionism in the printing and publishing industry had already achieved a considerable degree of success and stability by 1936. With collective bargaining long accepted by a very substantial proportion of newspaper publishers and a somewhat smaller percentage of book and job printers, the impact of the NRA and the Wagner Act upon employment relationships and union development in the industry was less severe than in manufacturing generally. The period 1936 to 1941 represents merely one episode, albeit an important one, in the long evolution of printing unionism, rather than the revolution that characterized events in such industries as steel and automobiles.
The mechanical, as distinguished from the editorial workers in printing, are organized into six unions: the International Typographical Union, the International Printing Pressmen and Assistants' Union, the International Brotherhood of Bookbinders, the International Stereotypers' and Electrotypers' Union, the Amalgamated Lithographers' Union, and the International Photoengravers' Union. 1 Editorial workers are organized in the American Newspaper Guild. Of these organizations, the Typographical Union is the oldest, largest and most stable; indeed, the others were originally offshoots of it. 2 Because of the difficulty of dealing with a complexity of small unions, this chapter will be concerned primarily with the International Typographical Union (ITU) as the most representative organization of the mechanical trades, and with the American Newspaper Guild, a new departure in white collar unionism originating in the nineteen-thirties.
The ITU, while a relatively small trade union, is one of the most celebrated in the American labor movement. Formed in 1852, it was the first international union to be established in the United States on a stable basis. It is known for the vigor with which it enforces its working rules, and even more, for the almost continuous existence within its structure of a