Society of Lithographic Artists, Designers and Engravers

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Full name Society of Lithographic Artists, Designers and Engravers
Founded 1885
Date dissolved 1982
Merged National Graphical Association (1982)
Members 24,291 (1981)
Affiliation TUC, P&KTF
Country United Kingdom

The Society of Lithographic Artists, Designers and Engravers (SLADE) was a British trade union representing workers in the printing industry.


The union was formed in Manchester in 1885 as the National Society of Lithographic Artists, Designers and Writers, Copperplate and Wood Engravers. In 1919, it relocated to London.[1] After a number of changes of name, the union amalgamated with the National Graphical Association (NGA) in 1982 to form the National Graphical Association (1982).

In the 1970s, there was controversy over SLADE's recruitment tactics, including the introduction of closed shops. On 12 March 1978, the Sunday Times stated: "Nearly 8000 workers have been forced mostly against their will, to join a union. Workers usually join unions to protect themselves. These workers wanted protection, but not against their bosses. They wanted protection against the very union they were being forced to join. It threatened them with the blacking of their work, the bankruptcy of their firm and the loss of their livelihoods." [2] It has been written that "the vast majority [of those 8000] felt that SLADE was ignorant of their industry, had rules and working practices inappropriate to them and considered the 'join or else your company will be put out of business' method of recruitment scandalous."[3]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Jack Eaton and Colin Gill, The Trade Union Directory (1981), pp.170-171
  2. ^ Quoted in 'Report of an Inquiry into Certain Trade Union Recruitment Activities', Cmnd. 7706 (1979) (Leggatt Report), page 15.
  3. ^ Dunn, Stephen; Gennard, John (1984). The Closed Shop in British Industry. London and Basingstoke: Macmillan. p. 124. ISBN 0-333-26203-4.