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Chicago Tribune. Labor relations. Strike of 1947-1949 records

Identifier: XI-310

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the 1947/1949 strike of the Chicago Typographical Union (CTU) against the Chicago Tribune Company. Box 1 contains news stories published November 1947 to September 1949. Box 2 has detailed accounts of meetings, negotiations and correspondence of the Chicago Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA) and the Chicago Typographical Union (individuals engaging in the correspondents include Woodruff Randolph, Elbert M. Antrim, Tom Antrim, John Park, Harold Grumhaus, John F. O'Keefe, and Andrew Hamilton). Boxes 3-6 concern the activities and memos of the CNPA to deal with the strike, including the hiring of outside workers and the reaction by the union to "scabs." Boxes 7-8 consist of Harold F. Grumhaus production department files and Elbert Antrim's business files, which included proposals for new legislation, contracts and miscellaneous business issues. Publicity about the strike includes union bulletins from the International Typographical Union (ITU), transcripts of ITU broadcasts over radio station WCFL (December 1947-September 1949) and pamphlets about the strike and union policies (Boxes 9 - 10). Documents, transcripts of testimony and other court documents about lawsuits resulting from the strike are in Box 11.


  • 1947 - 1952


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.


11 Boxes

Language of Materials



This collection documents the 1947/1949 strike of the Chicago Typographical Union (CTU) against the Chicago Tribune Company. This collection consists of news stories clipped from the Chicago Tribune; correspondence and accounts of meetings and negotiations of the Chicago Newspaper Publishers Association (CNPA) and the unions involved (CTU, and the International Typographical Union (ITU)); contract proposals; union publications and anti-union pamphlets; and transcripts of testimony related to several lawsuits between the publishers and the union. The conflict between the CTU and the CNPA was considered a test of the Taft-Hartley Act passed in June 1947.


Arrangement completed prior to receiving the collection from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation

Custodial History

When three unions struck against the Tribune Company on July 18, 1985, a search was begun for the records of the November 24, 1947/September 18, 1949 Chicago Typographical Union strike. Harold Grumhaus, who was assistant production manager at the time of the 1947/1949 strike, was reached by phone and said that a complete file had been kept in Grumhaus' office by Dick Gossett.

The file could not be found until late in August, 1985, when Bruce Cerling reported the discovery of four unidentified file cabinets in two storerooms in the Tribune Tower. Upon excavating the cabinets, one drawer was found to be labeled "strike;" but the cabinets were locked and there was no key. Ann Stupur arranged to have a key made, and on September 9 the four cabinets were moved to the Tribune Company Archives storeroom.

Material from the "strike" drawer was processed during the next 10 days into five manuscript boxes. (See the 1985-09-20 summary in the XI-310 Vertical File.) The rest of the material, including one cabinet which would not open even with the key, was left for later processing.

In May 1986 a locksmith opened this cabinet and it was found to contain a great deal more strike material in a state of some disarray. Material that seemed of high priority was processed immediately and the collection expanded to eight boxes. (See the 1986-05-19 summary in the XI-310 Vertical File.) Later in the year the rest of the material was processed; the Antrim business manager files (#50-6) were separated from the Park and Grumhaus (production) files (#36-2), and the collection expanded to eleven boxes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, Chicago Tribune Company, and Nexstar Media Group on January 10, 2020, accession #SPEC-2020-1.

Guide to the Chicago Tribune. Labor relations. Strike of 1947-1949 records
In Progress
Encoded by Sigrid P. Perry, March 31, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Library Details

Part of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US