During the 20th century there was an enormous increase in trade union membership, which affected all industries, though to differing extents. In some departments of the Print Works it was necessary to be part of the Union to get a job and only qualified workers could go on strike.

When workers at the Print Works were told to strike by the unions, their family members were sometimes drafted in, who, along with the apprentices, stopped the Works from completely shutting down.

Major strike action by British unions during the 1978 and winter of 1979 contributed to the downfall of the Labour government of James Callaghan and also affected the life of the factory forever.

The following unions had members at Butcher's:

SOGAT – Society of Graphical and Allied Trades

NGA – National Graphical Association

SLADE & PW – Society of Lithographic Artists, Designers, Engravers & Process Workers