In 1886 the printing pressmen of Albany, New York, were organized as a separate pressmen's union by the International Typographical Union (ITU). Chartered on February 6, 1886, this local had an unknown title, although it is likely to have been the Albany Printing Pressmen's Union. 
Traditionally, typographical unions had been dominated by the printers, and for years pressmen had been agitating for more recognition within the ITU. However, by the latter part of the nineteenth and the earlier part of the twentieth century, most members of the ITU who were not printers split away to form separate international unions. And in New York City on October 8, 1889, representatives of thirteen pressmen's unions (both independent and those allied with the ITU) met in convention to discuss the formation of the International Printing Pressmen's Union of North America. The pressmen's union of Albany and Troy, New York, were among the delegates.
On January 1, 1890, the Albany pressmen was chartered as Local 23 of the newly formed International Printing Pressmen's Union of North America. In 1896, the international union changed its name to the International Printing Pressmen and Assistants' Union of North America (IPPAU) to show the incorporation of assistants into the union. The Albany local followed suit by modifying its title to Albany Printing Pressmen and Assistants' Union No. 23. Local 23 added "Offset Workers" to its name in 1967 to indicate the dominance of offset work within the local's jurisdiction. In 1973 the IPPAU merged with the International Stereotypers', Electrotypers', and Platemakers' Union of North America (ISE&PU) to form the International Printing and Graphic Communications Union (IPGCU). With the merger of the IPGCU and the Graphic Arts International Union (GAIU) in 1983, the Albany Printing Pressmen, Assistants and Offset Workers Union became Local 23-C of the Graphic Communication International Union (GCIU). The C in its title stood for "Commercial" and designated the local as one devoted in general to commercial work.
The membership of Local 23-C is composed of "practical Letterpress, Offset, Gravure, Flexographic Journeymen Pressmen, Apprentices and Assistants, Journeymen and Offset Cameramen, Platemakers, Strippers in the commercial and Newspaper Industry."  Its jurisdiction includes Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga, and Glens Falls, New York. Any shop within the local that includes more than one union member is designated as a chapel, organized to deal with its own specific matters, collect its own dues, and represent its own members. Web newspaper pressmen are treated as a separate branch of the local and "have full jurisdiction in all matters pertaining to regulation and control in their own branch of the printing industry, in so far as the interest of the other branches of the trade are not affected."  On January 1, 1990, the union celebrated its one hundredth anniversary.
Minutes (1951-64, 1966-89) make up the bulk of these records. Unfortunately, all minutes before 1951 have been lost, but the rest of the minutes are complete except for those for 1965 and parts of the minutes before and after that year. The minutes are in manuscript through 1966 and typescript thereafter. Arbitrations and other labor disputes are discussed quite fully in the minutes. The only other records included are constitutions and bylaws, which describe the official workings of the local.
The collection has no series, arranged chronologically.
All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by the by the Albany Printing Pressmen, Assistants and Offset Workers Unions, No. 23-C, GCIU, as a part of the Harry Van Arsdale, Jr., Labor History Project. The originals have been returned to Local 23-C.
Processed by: Geoffrey A. Huth
Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on
Published: 2018-03-05 23:08:58 -0500
Converted to EAD, 2015 December
Encoded in EAD by Gregory Wiedeman, 2015
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Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Albany Printing Pressmen, Assistants And Offset Workers Union, No. 23-C Graphic Communications International UnionRecords, 1951-1989. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Albany Printing Pressmen, Assistants And Offset Workers Union Records).
|Reel 1||Constitutions and Bylaws||1954, 1968|