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The Print unions

Graphical, Paper & Media Union (GPMU)
The Graphical, Paper & Media Union (GPMU) merged with Amicus in October 2004. The union was formed in 1991 when the National Graphical Association (NGA) and the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades (SOGAT’82) joined forces.

GPMU black and silver GPMU Ireland GPMU Scotland GPMU women GPMU young members GPMU 97 conf GPMU health and safety rep GPMU women unity

National Graphical Association (NGA)
The National Graphical Association (NGA) resulted from a merger of the Typographical Association (TA) and the London Typographical Society (LTS) in 1964. As early as 1845 attempts had been made to form a national union for printers but any success was shortlived. London printworkers preferred to retain their autonomy until finally in 1964 a national union became a reality. The new national union had a membership of more than 136,000.

NGA 54-91 NGA white oval NGA 25 NGA mirrorNGA plain NGA Dublin NGA Shoe Lane

Typographical Association (TA)
The Typographical Association (TA) was formed in June 1849 in Sheffield as the Provincial Typographical Association (PTA). At the end of its first year the union had 481 members in nineteen branches mainly in Lancashire, Cheshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. By 1865 when most of the local associations in the larger provincial towns and cities had joined the union membership had grown to 2,549 in 61 branches with a headquarters in Manchester. In 1877 the word Provincial was dropped from the title. In 1964 the union joined forces with the London Typographical Society to form the National Graphical Association (NGA)

TA TA silver

London Typographical Society (LTS)
Founded in 1785 and re-established in 1848 the London Society of Compositors amalgamated with the Printing Machine Managers Trade Society in 1955 to form the London Typographical Society (LTS). Nine years later in 1964 the Society joined with the Typographical Association (TA) to form the National Graphical Association (NGA)

LTS

National Society of Electrotypers and Stereotypers (NSES)
A London Branch of the Society of Electrotypers and Stereotypers was founded in 1864 but it wasn’t until 1893 that it became a national union and changed its name accordingly. In 1938 the union had a membership of 3,900 and a headquarters in Blackfriars Road, London. In 1967 the National Society of Electrotypers and Stereotypers (NSES) amalgamated with the NGA

NSES blue white NSES blue silver

Amalgamated Society of Lithographic Printers & Auxiliaries (ASLP)
In 1969 the Amalgamated Society of Lithographic Printers & Auxiliaries (ASLP) merged with the NGA increasing the membership of that union by 13,212. The ASLP was formed in 1880, had its Head Office in Whitworth Park, Manchester and had a membership in Southern Ireland as well as the U.K. In 1964 the society had 11,000 members in 46 Branches.

ASLP pale blue ASLP circle

Wallpaper Workers Union (WWU)
In 1919 the Amalgamated Society of Machine Paper Stainers & Colour Mixers of Great Britain and the Paper Stainers Union of General Workers merged to form the Wallpaper Workers Union (WWU). The union changed its title to the National Union of Wallcovering, Decorative and Allied Trades (NUWDAT) in 1975 when it joined forces with the Wallcoverings’ Staff Association. In 1979 with a membership of 3,920 NUWDAT merged with the NGA.

NUWDAT Wallpaper Workers

Society of Lithographic Artists, Designers & Process Workers (SLADE)
The Society of Lithographic Artists, Designers & Process Workers (SLADE) was formed in Manchester in 1885 as the National Society of Lithographic Artists, Designers & Writers, Copperplate & Wood Engravers. It changed its title to the shortened version in 1903. The Society enjoyed a membership of around 22,000 when it merged with the NGA in 1982 to form NGA’82.

SLADE artist SLADE 1885

United Society of Engravers
The United Society of Engravers was formed when the Scottish Calico Printers and the Manchester Calico Printers amalgamated in 1909. The union was Manchester based and merged with SLADE in 1973. Its 631 members became the Wallpaper Textile Section of that union.

United Society of Engravers

Society of Graphical & Allied Trades (SOGAT)
The Society of Graphical & Allied Trades (SOGAT) could trace its history as far back as the Journeymen Bookbinders of London (1786), the Original Society of Papermakers (1800) and the London Society of Pressmen (1834). The name SOGAT was first adopted when the shortlived 1966 amalgamation of the National Union of Printing, Bookbinding & Paper Workers (NUPB&PW) and the National Society of Operative Printers & Assistants (NATSOPA) broke up in 1972. In 1982 the two unions again merged when a ballot of the membership of both organisations approved amalgamation. The new union with a total membership of 236,660 was named SOGAT’82.

SOGAT black red SOGAT 40 SOGAT book SOGAT 1889-1982 SOGAT NEC SOGAT bicentenary

National Union of Printing & Paper Workers
A series of complex mergers resulted in the creation of National Union of Printing & Paper Workers in 1914 following a similar series of amalgamations which formed the National Union of Bookbinders & Machine Rulers in 1911. The Bookbinders union made no attempt to recruit the women who worked as assistants to the skilled craftsmen and the Printing & Paper Workers union accepted them into membership seizing an opportunity which created bitter feelings within the two unions. Fortunately they came up with the sensible answer and merged in 1921 to form the National Union of Printing, Bookbinding, Machine Ruling & Paper Workers. The union shortened its title to National Union of Printing, Bookbinding & Paper Workers (NUPB&PW) in 1928.

NAtional Union Printing Paper Workers National paper Workers blue red circle Bookbinding machine ruling Printing Bookbinding machine ruling NUPB PW

Scottish Typographical Association
The Scottish Typographical Association was founded in 1853 and changed its name 120 years later in 1973 to the Scottish Graphical Association. The unions 6,418 members merged with SOGAT in 1975 to form SOGAT’75.

Scottish Typographical Scottish Typographical

National Society of Operative Printers & Assistants (NATSOPA)
The National Society of Operative Printers & Assistants (NATSOPA) was founded in 1889 as the Printers’ Labourers Union and later became the Operative Printers Society. In its earliest days the union shared an office at 24 Bride Street just off Fleet Street. When it opened its first office in Manchester in 1904 the union changed its name to NATSOPA. After expanding its spheres of influence the union changed its name in 1972 to the National Society of Operative Printers, Graphical & Media Personnel. The union merged with SOGAT in 1982 to become SOGAT’82

Operative Printers and Assistants blue silver Operative Printers and Assistants pale blue Operative Printers Graphical and Media centenary Operative Printers Graphical and media service Operative Printers Graphical and media centenary manchester

Sign & Display Trade Union
Founded in 1918 as the National Union of Sign, Glass & Ticket Writers & Kindred Trades the Sign & Display Trade Union chose the shortened name in 1945. The union with a membership of 4,157 merged with NATSOPA in1972.

Sign and Display TU

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