South African Typographical Union

The South African Typographical Union (SATU) is a trade union representing workers in the printing and media industries in South Africa.

The union was founded on 5 January 1898 by six local unions, including the Durban Typographical Society. Many of its founding members were immigrants from the United Kingdom who had held membership of the London Society of Compositors (LSC), and the new union's constitution was based on that of the LSC. It published the South African Typographical Journal, which was one of the key cheerleaders for a Labour Party.[1][2][3] For many years, its president was Harry Sampson.[4]

The union admitted white and "coloured" workers on the same basis, although all non-whites faced prejudice. It did not admit black or Asian workers, and opposed their involvement in the printing industry.[1] It joined the South African Trades and Labour Council, then became a leading figure in the 1951 split which formed the South African Federation of Trade Unions, before joining the Trade Union Council of South Africa.[5][6][7]

In 1980, it finally began accepting black workers, and its membership increased to 26,818.[6] It is currently affiliated to the Federation of Unions of South Africa.[8]

Further readingEdit

  • Downes, Albert (1952). Printers' saga : being a history of the South African Typographical Union. SATU.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b Visser, Wessel P. (December 2004). ""To Fight the Battles of the Workers": The Emergence of Pro-strike Publications in Early Twentieth-Century South Africa". International Review of Social History. 49 (3): 401–434. doi:10.1017/S0020859004001737. S2CID 145095586.
  2. ^ Du Toit, Martin André (1976). South African Trade Unions: History, Legislation, Policy. McGraw-Hill. ISBN 9780070913110.
  3. ^ Ticktin, D. (1973). The Origins of the South African Labour Party 1888-1910 (PDF). 2. Cape Town: University of Cape Town. Retrieved 8 March 2021.
  4. ^ Gitsham, Ernest; Trembath, James H. (1926). A first account of labour organisation in South Africa (PDF). Durban: E. P. & Commercial Printing. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  5. ^ Simons, Harold; Simons, Ray (1987). One Hundred Years of Job Reservation on the South African Mines. International Labour Office. ISBN 9789221061588.
  6. ^ a b Miller, Shirley (1982). Trade Unions in South Africa 1970-1980: a directory and statistics. Cape Town: Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit. ISBN 0799204692.
  7. ^ Jubber, Ken (1979). South Africa Industrial Relations and Industrial Sociology. Juta. ISBN 9780702110085.
  8. ^ "Affiliated trade unions". FEDUSA. Retrieved 8 March 2021.