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CRA148 -- Gary Newspaper Guild Records


4.00 Linear Feet
June 1985
Revised October 1998


Mr. James McGill donated the Gary Newspaper Guild Records to the Calumet Regional Archives on 19 July 1983.

Property rights of the Records are held by the Calumet Regional Archives; literary rights are dedicated to the public. There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Linear feet of shelf space: 4.00 linear feet
Number of containers: 5 boxes
Calumet Regional Archives Collection 148
Processed by: Mark A. Vargas
Date: June 1985

Scope and Content

The Gary Newspaper Guild Records document the history of the Gary Newspaper Guild (GNG) from 1947 to 1982, but emphasizing 1960 to 1980. The Records contain a complete record of the GNG's minutes of meetings from 1947 to 1966, and a nearly complete record for 1966 to 1981. Much information about the GNG's contract disputes with the Gary Post-Tribune can be found in the minutes, and also in the Correspondence series. The researcher should note the file titled, "Guild questionnaire, 1976 Survey results, 1977" (Box 1, folder 20). The GNG members were asked what improvements they wanted in either their union or economic status. The documents are an extremely valuable source of socioeconomic research for labor and/or sociological studies. The contracts between the GNG and Post-Tribune can be found in Box 1, folders 23 and 24. Also of interest is the guild newsletter, found in Box 1, folder 25. The number of newsletters is relatively small, but demonstrate concerns of the guild in the late 1970's.

Unfortunately, the vast majority of the collection is records of the national guild. The larger organization was named the American Newspaper Guild (ANG) until 1970, when it became The Newspaper Guild (TNG) to reflect its international membership, which included members from the United states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. (The respective abbreviations are used on the file folders for identification). The annual reports of the ANG and TNG are available from 1963-1965 and most of the 1970's. The major concern of the (inter) national union was keeping its members' wages steady with inflation and improving benefits. A large number of reports on local unions negotiations and contract settlements are available, including Gary, making comparisons to the GNG relatively simple. Copies of the national newspaper, The Guild Reporter, date from 1966 to 1981.

For further information on the Gary Newspaper Guild see the following collections: H.B. Snyder Papers (CRA 005); E C. Rosenau Papers (CRA 015); Edward Brennan Papers (CRA 068); Elmer Budlove Papers (CRA 085); Post-Tribune Library Collection (CRA 184).

Historical Sketch

The Gary Newspaper Guild is descended from two previously unsuccessful guilds. After the passage of the National Recovery Act in 1933, Post-Tribune reporters formed a unit of the American Newspaper Guild. John E. Wolever was elected as the group's first president. The first union, as well as a second formed in 1938, failed to survive. The Post-Tribune later claimed:

Those first Guild members were long on enthusiasm but short on knowledge of the ways of organized labor. The unit soon drafted a work agreement to submit to management - and what a proposal it was! Longtime Guild members recall that the proposal - if it had been accepted - would still stand as an ideal contract at least from labor's point of view.

Erwin C. Rosenau, Post-Tribune reporter, recalled different reasons for the failure of the original groups. The publisher and managing editor, J. Ralph and H.B. Snyder, were notoriously unwilling to deal fairly with their employees. Rosenau stated that forming unions at the Post-Tribune was difficult because of "the Old Sword of Damocles hanging over you. The Snyders threw all kinds of stumbling blocks in our way." In 1941 new efforts were made by Edward R. Brennan and Steve Ripley to form a union. Post-Tribune newsroom employees held a secret meeting on 3 December 1941 and voted to merge with the Northwest Indiana Newspaper Guild, which had been founded by Hammond Times reporters; Brennan was elected president of the group.

In an election conducted in January 1942 by the National Labor Relations Board, Post-Tribune editorial workers selected the American Newspaper Guild to serve as their bargaining agent. The first contract between the Gary Newspaper Guild and the Post-Tribune was signed on 23 February 1942. In the years following its initial success, the GNG negotiated contracts with the Snyders, and Knight-Ridder News (which purchased the paper about 1970), settled grievances, and sent delegates to the annual (inter) national convention. The Guild grew from 22 members in 1947 to 69 in 1978. The reasons for forming the local - contract and grievance demands--remained at the forefront in the late 1970s, as they had in 1941.

Box File Description
1 1 Constitutions, ANG and TNG, (1956-1966)
2 Constitutions, ANG and TNG, 1969-1981
3 By-Laws and Amendments, 1961, 1969-1970
4 Minutes, 1947-1955
5 Minutes, 1956-1962
6 Minutes, 1963-1966, 1968-1969
7 Minutes, 1970-1981
8 Minutes, Midwest District Council, 1966, 1970, 1972, 1978, 1980
9 Minutes, International Executive Board, 1981
10 Correspondence, Gary Newspaper Guild, 1965, 1969, 1975-1979
11 Correspondence, ANG and TNG, 1965-1966, 1975-1981
12 Correspondence, Contract negotiations, 1962-1978
13 Correspondence and Petitions, 1964-1965, 1972
14 Correspondence, Computer Systems, 1980
15 Correspondence, Health and Hospitalization plans, 1957, 1963, 1965
16 Correspondence and Reports, Dental Benefits 1978
1 17 Correspondence, Newsletter, 1977-1978
18 Membership lists, 1978-1979
19 Address list, ANG local officers, 1969, 1974-1976, 1981
20 Guild questionnaire, 1976; Survey results, 1977
21 Grievances, 1967,1980
22 Guild Election Returns, 1969-1977
23 Guild contracts, (1958-1974)
24 Guild contracts, 1976-1979
25 Newsletters, The Guild Voice, 1977-1979
26 Annual Report, ANG, 1959
27 Annual Report, ANG, 1962

Box File Description
2 1-4 Annual Reports, ANG, 1963-1965, 1970
5-11 Annual Reports, TNG, (1972-1981)
12 Annual Reports, Knight-Ridder News, 1976-1980

Box File Description
3 1 Report, Comparison of management and guild contract proposals, 1976
2 Reports, Negotiations, 1979
3-6 Reports, TNG, negotiations, (1980-1982)
7 Reports, TNG contracts, 1974-1978
8-13 Reports, Contract settlements, 1977-1982
14-15 Reports, Contracts of other guilds and newspapers, 1965, 1978-1980
16 Reports, U.S. model contracts, 1966,1980,1982
17 Reports, Arbitration awards, 1961, 1964
18 Reports, Financial, 1959, 1969, 1980
19 Reports, Wage conference, 1962

Box File Description
4 1 Program, Wage conference, 1964
2 Report, Lidler analysis of Post-Tribune, 1980
3-4 Reports, Proceedings of annual conventions, 1978-1980
5 Programs, ANG and TNG conventions, 1963-1965, 1973
6 Reports, Retirement income plans, 1952-1960

Box File Description
5 1 Report, Minority employment in daily newspapers, 1970-1971
2 Reports, U.S. government, 1964, 1969-1977
3 Report, Human Rights Committee, n.d.
4 Report, Discrimination backlog, 1980-1981
5 Report, Analysis of investment performance, 1980
6 Group insurance plan, 1979
7 Collections notebook, 1960
8 Contracts and pamphlets, Page One Ball, (1952-1972)
9 Pamphlets, ANG and TNG, 1977-1981
10 Trust with Chase Manhattan Bank, 1959
11 Newsclippings, 1973, 1975
12 Newspapers, The Guild Reporter, 1966-1973
13 Newspapers, The Guild Reporter, 1976-1981

Subject Tracings

  • Brennan, Edward
  • Budlove, Elmer
  • Gary
  • Gary Newspaper Guild
  • Labor
  • Rosenau, E.C.
  • Snyder, H.B.