Graphical, Paper and Media Union
|Full name||Graphical, Paper and Media Union|
|Key people||Tony Dubbins, General Secretary|
The GPMU was formed from the merger of SOGAT and the National Graphical Association (NGA) and claimed to be the world's largest media union, having over 200,000 members working in the print, publishing, paper, IT and media industries.
The general secretaries of both predecessor unions stood in the GPMU leadership election, with an agreement that the loser would become Deputy General Secretary. Tony Dubbins of the NGA narrowly defeated Brenda Dean of SOGAT, by 78,654 votes to 72,657. Dubbins served as general secretary throughout the GPMU's existence, but Dean stood down after one year and was replaced by former SOGAT deputy general secretary Gerry Sutcliffe; in 1994, he was succeeded by Tony Burke. The first General President was Bryn Griffith, former General President of the NGA, who defeated Danny Seargant of SOGAT. Griffith was succeeded by Doug Douglas, following a controversial High Court case, when the union tried to ignore the ballot result in 1995.
Facing a decline in membership, in February 2004, GPMU opened merger negotiations with the skilled engineering, manufacturing and white collar union Amicus. In August 2004, results of a ballot of all members were released, showing 86% of members in favour of merger. The formal merger took place in early 2005, (at the same time the finance union Unfi joined Amicus) and GPMU became the semi-autonomous Graphical, Paper and Media industrial sector of Amicus. Tony Dubbins became the Deputy General Secretary of Amicus and Tony Burke became Assistant General Secretary of Amicus. Tony Dubbins was also the union's political head and Chair of TULO. He retired to Spain in October, 2008.
Amicus merged with the Transport & General Workers Union in May 2007 to form Unite the Union. The GPMU sector became the Graphical, Paper & Media Sector of Unite the union.
Tony Burke became the Assistant General Secretary of Unite responsible for the union's manufacturing section.
In 2014 faced with major changes to the print, communications and the media industries the Unite GPM sector merged with Unite's Information Technology and Communications sector to form the GPMITC Sector of the union.
A permanent display of memorabilia and the history of the print and papermaking unions of the UK and Ireland is housed at the Marx Memorial Library in Clerkenwell, London.
- David Needle, Business in Context: An Introduction to Business and Its Environment, p.139
- Peter Bain and John Gennard, A History of the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades, p.177
- "Sutcliffe, Gerard", Who's Who
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