Newspaper Guild Local 22: Detroit Records
The Newspaper Guild, a national organization, initially began with the intent to be a professional organization more than a union. As such, the 1933 founders chose to call the group a “guild.” The Newspaper Guild Local 22 was an early local, established in 1934. Organizers were successful in establishing this local in Detroit by using sit-down strikes across the entire state. The Detroit Times and the Detroit Free Press were first to win bargaining recognition: The Times was first certified 1938 and the Free Press in 1939. Some members from the Detroit News enlisted but the News largely avoided organization by matching fringe and pay gains as the Times and Free Press won them through negotiations. When the Guild affiliated with the CIO in 1937, many members dropped out of the guild because they did not want to be part of a union. In the next thirty years the local saw its membership fluctuate. UAW and Michigan Catholic publishing employees swelled the ranks in the 1940s, but later the guild lost 400 members when the News bought the Times in 1959. Employees from the Pontiac Press, Royal Oak Daily Tribune, and Macomb Daily joined the guild in the 1960s and 1970s, but simultaneously Oakland Press and Mellus members left after lengthy strikes in the 1970s. The local also dealt with upheaval in the newspaper business during a downturn in the late 1980s. Most significantly, the News and Free Press filed a joint operations agreement, sharing space and equipment to ease some of the financial burden.
Part 1 of the Detroit Newspaper Guild papers reflect the local's activities and organization, as well as include documentation of the American Newspaper Guild.
Part 2 consist of materials related to the organization and activities of the local in Detroit. The bulk of the collection consists of papers from the daily operation of the guild, including board and general meetings, contracts, elections, bargaining and negotiations, Page One events, and locally held national conventions. Other widely covered topics include strikes and lockouts and the Joint Operations Agreement. Strike and lockout materials begin with the strike and lockout in 1962 and ending with the 1995 Detroit Newspapers strike. Joint Operations materials cover all facets of the agreement between the Detroit News and
Free Press from the late 1980s.
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