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How Rogers Typograph Caused The Birth Of Toronto Star

Started by Mechanic, March 02, 2010, 04:43:04 AM

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21 printers and their four young apprentices above Scholes' tavern on Queen St. W. in Toronto worked at one of six daily newspapers, The News. And they were damned if they were going to sit still for management's latest wrinkle. It wanted them to operate the fancy new Rogers Typograph, a machine said to outpace almost three men setting type by hand, and it wanted them to do it at piecework rates. The printers wanted a flat $14 a week. They vowed to walk rather than settle.

What comes around, goes around. Resistance to automation, the very thing  that started the Toronto Star in 1892 started the begining of the ended the International Typographical Union's involvement with Toronto newspapers in 1964. I was the mechanic sent in by Canadian Linotype to convert the Toronto  Star's first automated typesetting machine a Linotype Comet. I was a member of the ITU at the time and I worked with Star's ITU members in the conversion. The union was obviously very apprehensive about automation and demonstrated their objections by going on strike. A strike that eventually led to the demise of the ITU in Toronto newspapers. Such is life.

From Wikipedia,
The International Typographical Union (ITU) was a labor union founded on May 3, 1852 in the United Statesas the National Typographical Union. In its 1869 convention in Albany, New York, the union-having organized members in Canada-changed its name to the International Typographical Union. A 1986 merger vote, series of local mergers, and a 1988 jurisdictional agreement led to most of the ITU's mailers joining the IBT while the remaining typographers of the ITU joined the CWA. As of its dissolution in 1986, the ITU was the oldest surviving trade union in the United States.

You can read the early history of the Star on the following web site:-

George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast

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