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The Great North Trail, revisited

December 3, 2019

December 2, 2019

Thanks to my friend T.j. Gilles who reads carefully, I realized I need to correct an earlier blog post, the one about The Great North Trail, scholarly book by Dan Cushman, edited by A.B. Guthrie, Jr. 

I said Mr. Guthrie helped start the Montana Newspaper Guild in Great Falls.  Well, he probably was a supporter, but I don’t know if he could be called a founder. Perhaps I confused him with another person whose last name was also Guthrie, Charles M. Guthrie. I don’t know if the two were related.

Turns out Dan Cushman helped start the Guild.

Here is a quotation from the University of Montana archivist who cataloged the records from the Guild:

The Great Falls Newspaper Guild held its first recorded meeting on March 22, 1936. Fred Martin and Joseph Kinsey Howard were among those who organized the editorial employees of the Great Falls Leader and the Great Falls Tribune as the Great Falls Press Club. The existence of the Guild was initially secret. Like the American Newspaper Guild, which was founded in 1933, they organized in response to the working conditions common for newspaper reporters: long and irregular work hours with no paid holiday or vacation, poor benefits, and dismissal without cause. The Guild affiliated with the Cascade County American Federation of Labor (AFL) and was officially named the Great Falls Newspaper Guild (Local 81 of the American Newspaper Guild). On November 29, 1936, the guild negotiated its initial contract with the Great Falls Tribune-Leader owners, O.S. Warden and Alex Warden. Other early members were Dan Cushman and Charles M. Guthrie. One of the issues the Guild took on in early negotiations with the Wardens was the gender-segregated wage scale that paid women considerably less than men for the same work; the Guild felt strongly that there should be a single wage scale for all reporters regardless of gender.

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