Graphic Communications International Union, Local 259-M Records, 1941-1988
- This collection includes records from Graphic Communications International Union, Local 259-M and the three previously independent unions that merged to form GCIU Local 259-M - Utica Graphic Communications Union, Local 58-C; Lithographers and Photoengravers International Union Local 21-P; and Local 59 of the Amalgamated Lithographers of America (ALA).
- 5 reels of microfilm
- English .
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Graphic Communications International Union, Local 259-M Records, 1941-1988. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the GCIU, Local 259-M, Records).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
Per the microfilming agreement, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives may allow research use of the filmed records and grant permission for the scholarly non-commerical publication of quotes from them. Rights to the materials still reside with the Graphic Communications International Union, Local 259-M Records.
- Scope and Content:
Since GCIU Local 259-M is an amalgam of what were once three independent locals, it has records produced in all its incarnations. However, there is always a dominant partner in any merger and usually only the records of that partner are retained after a merger. Although there is a good deal of documentation from Locals 259-M and 58-C, only scattered contracts remain of LPIU Local 21-P. The bulk of the records in this manuscript group are those produced by ALA Local 59 and its successor organizations.
Of special interest in these records are the minutes, which are almost complete from 1947 (three years after Local 59 was chartered). Although there is documentation of the union's negotiations with many shops, those records dealing with Amsterdam Printing and Litho Corporation are the most extensive and potentially interesting. A large percentage of the records of Local 58-C deal with the Utica Observer-Dispatch, including material on the 1966-67 strike.
For other printing trade unions in the Albany area, see the records of the Albany Typographical Union No. 4; the Albany Printing Pressmen, Assistants, and Offset Workers Union No. 23-C, GCIU; Graphic Communications International Union, Local 10-B (Bookbinders); and the Newspaper Guild of Albany No. 34.
After this collection was microfilmed, the originals were returned to GCIU Local 259-M.
- Biographical / Historical:
The Albany Photo-Engravers Union No. 21 was chartered in 1921 as an affiliate of the International Photo Engravers Union of North America (IPEUNA). Local 59 of the Amalgamated Lithographers of America (ALA) was chartered in 1943 with a single shop and approximately 50 members.[GCIU, Local 259-M. Dinner Journal (20th Anniversary of Local 59), ] In 1964 IPEUNA and ALA merged at the international level to form the Lithographers and Photoengravers International Union (LPIU). Local 59-L merged with the Albany Photo-Engravers Union No. 21-P, LPIU, to form Local 259 in 1966. [GCIU Local 259-M. Dinner Journal, 1966] With the merger of LPIU and the International Brotherhood of Bookbinders (IBB) in 1972, the local became Local 259-M (signifying "Merged") of the Graphic Arts International Union (GAIU). In 1983 the GAIU merged with the International Printing and Graphic Communications Union (IPGCU), Local 259 became an affiliate of the Graphic Communications International (GCIU). In 1987, the Utica Graphic Communications Union, Local 58-C (signifying "Commercial") merged into Local 259-M.
The Utica Graphic Communications Union, Local 58-C, was chartered in 1898 as Utica Printing Pressmen's Local 58 of the International Printing Pressmen and Assistants' Union of North America (IPPAU). When the IPPAU merged with the International Stereotypers', Electrotypers', and Platemakers' Union of North America (ISE&PU) in 1973, the local became Utica Printing and Graphic Communications Union No. 58 of the International Printing and Graphic Communications Union (IPGCU). When the IPGCU merged with the GAIU to form the Graphic Communications International Union in 1983, the local became the Utica Graphic Communications Union No. 58-C.[Fink Gary, ed. Labor Unions. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1977, pp. 137-39, 300-04]
Local 58 was involved in a prolonged strike against the Utica Observer-Dispatch that involved four other unions. The strike was begun on July 15, 1967, by Local 58 when it disagreed with the newspaper over how many people were needed to tend a new press. The Utica Newspaper Guild No. 129; Stereotypers', Electrotypers', and Platemakers' Union, Local 46; and the Lithographers and Photoengravers International Union, Local 61, joined the strike afterwards. The Utica Typographical Union No. 62 observed the picket lines but never joined the strike. The five unions formed a joint committee during the strike and bargained with management together, although the Utica Typographical Union was the leader in economic negotiations.[The Guild Reporter, October 27, 1967, pp. 1 and 6] After 100 days, the unions received an improvement in wages that was also sought, and the strike (the longest in Utica's history) ended.
GAIU, Local 259-M, was involved in a noteworthy case against the Amsterdam Printing and Litho Corporation. The union had lost an National Labor Relations Board election in 1973, but it objected to the conduct of Amsterdam Printing and Litho during the election and another election was held. Local 259-M won that election and was certified as the bargaining agent for all lithographic production employees in the plant. The company refused to recognize the union and eliminated a Christmas bonus, changed wages, and reduced the workweek for its employees, all without consulting with the union. In 1976, the company was determined by NLRB to be engaging in unfair labor practices and was ordered to restore the workweek, pay all lost bonuses, pay for wages lost, and pay for the wages of laid-off employees up to the time the company began bargaining in good faith with the union. All these payments included interest. [GCIU Local 259-M. Subject Files. "Amsterdam Printing and Litho Corp.--Litigation over Refusal to Recognize Union--Folder 2, 1973-77."]
- Acquisition information:
Graphic Communications International Union, Local 259-M allowed its original records to be microfilmed by the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives. After microfilming, the originals were returned.1989-1990
The collection is organized into the following series: 1 - Minutes: 1947-1988; 2 - Subject Files: 1946-1988; 3 - Utica Graphic Communications File Local No. 58-C., GICU, Records: 1941-1986.
- Processing information:
Processed in 1991 by Geoffrey A. Huth.
Albany, New York
Printing industry--Employees--Labor unions--New York (State)
Labor unions--New York (State)
- International Printing and Graphic Communications Union
Lithographers and Photoengravers International Union
International Photo Engravers' Union of North America
Graphic Arts International Union
International Printing Pressmen and Assistants' Union of North America