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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND NEWSPAPER GUILD, LOCAL 1

CLEVELAND NEWSPAPER GUILD, LOCAL 1

The CLEVELAND NEWSPAPER GUILD, LOCAL 1, antedated the formation of the American Newspaper Guild (ANG) by several months. During the Depression, a group of CLEVELAND PRESS reporters, led by Robert L. Bordner and Garland Ashcraft, met to discuss salary cuts and other adverse job conditions. On 20 Aug. 1933, they joined with writers from the CLEVELAND NEWS to organize the Cleveland Editorial Employees Assn., and began to spread the union message among journalists in other cities. After changing their name to the Cleveland Newspaper Guild on 17 Oct., they attended the first ANG national convention in Washington, DC, on 15 Dec. 1933, where columnist Heywood Broun was elected president and the Cleveland chapter was recognized for its pivotal role as the nation's first local chapter. Early in 1934, Local 1 appointed William M. Davy its first executive secretary, and by the end of the year Davy negotiated the ANG's first contested contract with the Cleveland News. A contract signed 2 years later with the Cleveland Press set a precedent of collective bargaining for the entire Scripps-Howard newspaper chain. By 1944 guild jurisdiction had expanded to editorial rooms of the PLAIN DEALER and the CATHOLIC UNIVERSE BULLETIN. Although Local 1 failed to secure a union shop in the 1962-63 newspaper strike, it subsequently secured a guild shop in all active units, requiring employees to join the guild and pay dues within 30 days of employment. Membership inevitably declined from a high of over 700 to around 450 following the death of the Cleveland Press in 1982; however, losses were partially made up when units from the Canton Repository and the Massillon Evening Independent joined Local 1. The Cleveland Newspaper Guild, Local 1, was located at 1729 Superior Ave. in 1995. Membership in the guild stood at 525.


Cleveland Newspaper Guild, Local 1 Records, WRHS.