The Printers Collection launch party. View the gallery here
|Printers and Unions - Paper mill Workers|
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Paper mill Workers
Papermakers were also amongst the earliest trade unionists. The Original Society of Papermakers (OSP) was formed in 1800. Its members were handmade-paper craftsmen who had served a seven-year apprenticeship. The union’s head office was in Kent, the principal centre of the trade, but the union was formed as the industry entered decline resulting from the introduction of papermaking machines. In 1826 the Society became divided by an internal dispute over pay rates for a new method of making lightweight paper. This ended in the formation of a breakaway society in 1830. The two societies, known as the Star and the Deckle, relaxed their qualifications for membership. In 1837 the two unions reunited as the Original Society of Paper workers. The OSP continued to exist for a further 100 years until joining the NUPB&PW in 1948.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 January 2014 10:32|
There are a number of ways you can help to support us. You can donate online. You can join the Library as an individual member and get your union branch to affiliate. If you are a retired or working print worker and would like to volunteer to take groups around the Collection, you can apply here to join our panel of volunteers.
The Printers’ Collection was launched in February 2009 by Derek Simpson, joint general secretary of UNITE. To mark the opening a full-colour and richly illustrated 64-page brochure has been published. It is available here priced £5.
We are preparing an online book of memories of print workers. You may want to share with us your experience of being an apprentice, of your working life or activity as a trade unionist. If so, please write here and we will include all or parts of it in the forthcoming section.
Unite the union - graphical, paper and media section has kindly donated a substantial part of its collection of print ephemera, memorabilia and records in the Printers’ Collection. But some of our best and most surprising items have been donated by individuals or local union chapels and branches. If you have a print related item, which, you believe, would be of interest to others and you wish to donate it or simply loan it, to the Collection include a short description of it here.