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International Graphical Federation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

International Graphical Federation
Fédération graphique internationale
International Graphical Federation logo.png
Merged intoUnion Network International
Founded13 May 1949
Dissolved31 December 1999
HeadquartersMonbijoustrasse 73, Bern, Switzerland
1.2 million (1994)[1]
PublicationJournal of the International Graphical Federation

The International Graphical Federation (IGF) was a global union federation bringing together unions of printing workers around the world.


Moved to establish the federation began in 1939, when the Lithographers' International, International Typographers' Secretariat, and International Federation of Bookbinders and Kindred Trades, agreed to merge.[2] However, due to World War II, no progress was made until 1946, when the British Printing and Kindred Trades Federation established a committee which drafted a constitution for a merged organisation.[3]

The federation was established at its first meeting, in Stockholm in 1949. It agreed to operate on a non-political basis, instead focusing on responses to technical developments in the industry, and sharing information on industrial disputes, employment and health and safety standards in each country.[3]

The federation had three boards, covering typography, lithography and bookbinding, and each agreed policies which were put to the body's congress. An executive committee with fifteen members co-ordinated the federation's activities, while a bureau of the general secretary, president, and four representatives of the country in which the headquarters were located, ran the organisation between executive committee meetings.[3]

The IGF affiliated to the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), but its membership was suspended in 1967, as it had permitted the French Federation of Book Workers, a communist union from France, to affiliate.[4][5]

At the end of 1999, the federation merged with the Communications International, the International Federation of Employees, Technicians and Managers, and the Media and Entertainment International, to form Union Network International.[6]


In 1979, the following unions were affiliated to the federation:[7]

Union Country Affiliated membership
Union of Printing and Paper Austria 24,272
Paper and Publishing Industry Union Belgium 15,219
Sindicato de Artes Graficas de Bogota Colombia 101
Cyprus Industrial and Hotel Employees' Federation Cyprus 380
Danish Typographical Union Denmark 11,387
Danish Bookbinders' and Stationers' Union Denmark 8,951
Danish Lithographers' Union Denmark 2,742
Finnish Printers' and Bookbinders' Union Finland 23,454
French Federation of Book Workers France 60,402
Printing and Paper Union West Germany 158,180
National Graphical Association United Kingdom 107,723
Society of Graphical and Allied Trades United Kingdom 133,500
Society of Lithographic Artists, Designers, Engravers and Process Workers United Kingdom 21,261
National Union of Wallcoverings, Decorative and Allied Trades United Kingdom 3,369
Printing and Allied Workers' Union Guyana 500
Hid Islenzka Prentarafelag Iceland 409
Grafiska Sveinafelagid Iceland 89
Indian Federation of Graphical Workers India 1,314
Press Mazdoor Sabha India 1,550
Irish Graphical Society Ireland 1,524
National Union of Printing Workers in Israel Israel 3,960
Italian Federation of Book Workers Italy 28,000
Printers' and Bookbinders' Union in the Lebanese Republic Lebanon 600
Federation of Printing Workers of Luxembourg Luxembourg 609
Mauritius Printing Workers' Union Mauritius 104
Norwegian Graphical Union Norway 14,123
Typographical Union of Rhodesia Rhodesia 1,968
South African Typographical Union South Africa 19,928
Swedish Graphic Workers' Union Sweden 39,472
Swiss Typographers' Union Switzerland 15,316
Swiss Bookbinders' and Carton Makers' Union Switzerland 3,324
Swiss Lithographers' Union Switzerland 6,279
Press Workers' Union of Turkey Turkey 4,497
Union of Commercial and Industrial Workers Trinidad and Tobago 396
Graphic Arts International Union United States 91,394



1949: Karl Woerler
1964: Heinz Göke
1981: Alfred Kaufmann
1990: Bob Tomlins
1994: Chris Pate
1997: Olav Boye


1949: Adolf Schäfer[8]
1955: Friedrich Segessenmann[8]
1958: Ernst Leuenberger
1967: John Bonfield
1976: Leonhard Mahlein
1983: Erwin Ferlemann
1994: Rene van Tilborg


  1. ^ Docherty, James C.; van der Velden, Sjaak (2012). Historical Dictionary of Organized Labor. Scarecrow Press. p. 143. ISBN 978-0810879881.
  2. ^ "International Graphical Federation (IGF)". Open Yearbook. UIA. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Bain, Peter; Gennard, John (2005). A History of the Society of Graphical and Allied Trades. Routledge. pp. 269–270. ISBN 1134790902.
  4. ^ "International Graphical Federation Archives". Archives Portal Europe. International Institute of Social History. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  5. ^ Windmuller, John (1979). The Shape of Transnational Unionism: International Trade Secretariats. United States Bureau of International Labor Affairs. p. 41.
  6. ^ "FAQs". UNI Global Union. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  7. ^ Coldrick, Percy; Jones, Philip (1979). The International Directory of the Trade Union Movement. New York: Facts on File. pp. 66–70. ISBN 0871963744.
  8. ^ a b Bundock, Clement (1959). The Story of the National Union of Printing, Bookbinding and Paper Workers. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 556.
This page was last edited on 23 August 2021, at 19:02
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