M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives


Finding Aid for the

Records, 1892, 1907-1989

For reference queries contact M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives Reference staff

Finding Aid Compiled by
Geoffrey A. Huth
February 2, 1990

M. E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives 
University Libraries / University at Albany / State University of New York 
1400 Washington Avenue / Albany, New York 12222 / (518) 437-3935

VOLUME: 2 reels of microfilm

ACQUISITION: All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by the Bookbinders Local 10 of the Graphic Communications International Union and subsequently microfilmed as a part of the Harry Van Arsdale, Jr., Labor History Project. The originals have been returned to GCIU Local 10-B.

ACCESS: Access to this record group is unrestricted.

COPYRIGHT: The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.


Adminstrative History

Scope and content note

Box and Folder List

Graphic Communications International Union, Local 10-B
Administrative History

First chartered on June 15, 1892, the Book-binders Society of Albany, Local Union No. 10 of the International Brotherhood of Bookbinders, was probably formed by bookbinders who withdrew from the Albany Typographical Union No. 4, but neither the records of Local 10-B nor the records of the Albany Typographical Union prove this to be the case.  Local 10 had a close relationship with the Albany Typographical Union, however, and the latter encouraged the bookbinders to join the area Joint Allied Printing Trades Council in 1914.  In 1972, the International Brotherhood of Bookbinders merged with the Lithographers and Photoengravers Union to form the Graphic Arts International Union.  At this time, the local became GAIU Local 10-B, with the B designating "Bookbinders."  When the GAIU merged with the International Printing and Graphic Communications Union in 1983, the local became Local 10-B of the Graphic Communications International Union.

In 1907, Local 10 met with the international president to discuss the eight-hour movement, [1] and by the end of the year the local had reached an agreement with the employers on the eight-hour day.  Despite this success, Local 10 was unable to organize shops in Schenectady and Troy that year.

The composition of the local changed as the years progressed.  In 1909, Local 10 began considering the inclusion of all machine operators as bookbinders but rejected a proposal that would have organized them. [2]  By 1914, the local encouraged folding machine operators to join the union [3], and by 1917 the folding machine operators and sheet men were ready to be admitted to the union.[4]  The union realized the necessity of broadening its base if it wanted to continue to represent all workers in the bookbinding trade in changing technological times.

Another change in the composition of Local 10 was the introduction of women.  Organizing females became necessary in an industry with a good percentage of women workers.  In 1909, the union voted to accept women as members [5], but the women remained junior members for years. [6]  Early on, the local tried to restrict the tasks women could perform, such as feeding cutting machine. [7]  Even as a shop of "bindery girls" was being organized in 1917, the local decided that the women would not need to attend meetings. [8]  However, by the 1930's women had become much more active in and integral to the union, and this change eventually led to full membership for women.

By 1952, another change had affected Local 10's membership.  Semi-skilled workers in the binderies were coming under the jurisdiction of the local. [9]  In 1960, when a labor law mandated it, the semi-skilled workers held elections for their own officers in an affiliate of Local 10, the Semi-Skilled Branch. [10]  Semi-skilled workers began attending Local 10-B's meetings (instead of holding separate meetings) in 1974. [11]  Later that year, Local 10-B voted to accept the semi-skilled workers as members who earned only women's benefits. [12]  The semi-skilled workers joined 10-B the following year. [13]
 Because the international union had none, Local 10 began formulating a pension plan in 1952 that would help its superannuated members, and that plan began in January 1954. [14]  This pension plan was adjusted over the years, and as the local's international merged with other internationals the plan merged with other pension plans and eventually became known as the Inter-Local Pension Fund.

This local was involved in few disputes over its nearly 100 years of existence.  In 1920, it struck for 9 days to force employers to enforce scale. [15]  The strike was successful, and the members returned to work.  There were also other small strikes and walk-outs.

Back to History

1. Minutes, February 21, 1907.
2. Minutes, November 8, 1909.
3. Minutes, March 17, 1914.
4. Minutes, November 20, 1917.
5. Minutes, November 8, 1909.
6. Minutes, June 14, 1920.
7. Minutes, July 21, 1914, and August 18, 1914.
8. Minutes, June 7, 1917.
9. Minutes, April 26, 1952.
10. Minutes, January 23, 1960.
11. Minutes, January 26, 1974.
12. Minutes, September 28, 1974.
13. Minutes, January 25, 1975.
14. Minutes, December 20, 1952, and December 19, 1953.
15. Minutes, September 9, 1920.

Graphic Communications International Union, Local 10-B
Scope & Content Note

The minutes are the most important of the records of Local 10-B, and these have only one gap, though that gap is a significant one:  all minutes from 1892 through 1906 are missing, probably having filled a single minute book at one time.  Except for those initial years, the minutes of Local 10-B are complete.

The minutes contain general information about the history of the local:  the union's decision-making procedures, the presence of guests at meetings, the course of elections, etc.  The integration of women into the union is one of the best delineated of the changes affecting the local.  The minutes often include copies of agreements between employers and the local as well as other information about negotiations with employers. Besides regular meeting minutes, the minutes sometimes contain minutes of meetings of members from the semi-skilled branch or minutes of meetings of workers at one plant.  Also included in these minutes is a considerable amount of discrete information about other labor unions in the area.

Besides the minutes, the records of Local 10-B contain a copy of the original 1892 charter, copies of the local's and international's constitutions and by-laws, and a few printed contracts between the local and the firms employing its members.

For additional labor collections in the Department, see the online Labor subject guide at http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/labor.htm.

Graphic Communications International Union, Local 10-B
Box and Folder List

Reel 1

Charter, 15 Jun 1892.
Constitutions and By-Laws of Local 10-B, 1960, 1968, 1982.
Constitutions and Laws of the Graphic Arts
International Union, 1976, 1979.
Contracts, 1962, 1965, 1969.
Minutes, 1907-28.
Minutes, 1929-50.
Minutes, 1950-58.

Reel 2

Minutes, 1958-73.
Minutes, 1974-80.
Minutes, 1981-89.
Timeline facts from the minutes of GCIU, Local 10-B, 1909 Oct 11
Photoengravers on strike, 1909 Oct 12
Committee from ITU Locals 4 & 6 spoke to Local 10, 1909 Nov 8
Albany Central Federation of Labor was reinstated by the American Federation of Labor after complying with the law and unseating the Electrical Worker delegates, 1910 Jun 13
Junkmen's union strike, 1911 Feb 13
Amesterdam broommakers strike. (?)1911 Apr 10
Boilermakers and helpers on strike for seven weeks, 1911 Sep 11
Boilermakers and helpers still on strike, 1960 Sep 24
Troy Typographical Union No. 52 to celebrate its 100th anniversary, 1963 Oct 26
Stereotypers & Electrotypers Local 28 of Albany, International convention in Albany in 1964, 1969 Dec 20
Bookbinders Local 15 of Schenectady on strike.

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Last updated November 7, 2003