Six unions went on strike against the Detroit Newspaper Agency, which controls the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, July 13. These papers are owned by the giant media corporations, Gannett, Co., and Knight Ridder, Inc., respectively.
The striking unions represent 2,500 workers. They are Teamsters Local 372 (drivers and district managers), the Newspaper Guild Local 22 (reporters, photographers, copy editors, clerks and building maintenance), Teamsters Local 2040 (mailers), Graphic Communications International Union (GCIU) Local 13N (pressroom employees), Detroit Typographical Union 18 (representing typesetters), and GCIU Local 289 (photoengravers).
The company is demanding deep job cuts and in some cases complete restructuring of work units. This is on top of big concessions the unions gave up in previous contracts. The company has also refused to bargain jointly with the unions on economic issues, as was done in the past.
Detroit Newspapers has hired 1,300 replacement workers and employed strikebreaking "security guards" to continue to publish the papers. They have also paid the Sterling Heights and other local police departments over half a million dollars in police overtime to aid in scab herding operations at their north printing plant.
The strike has won wide support among working people and their unions in the Detroit area. Hundreds of strikers and their supporters turn out every Saturday night to delay delivery of the Sunday edition of the scab paper. Many other strike support activities are underway as well.
To make contributions to the strike fund or food bank, request a speaker, or get more information on how you or your union local can help, contact: The Metropolitan Detroit Council of Newspaper Unions, c/o Metropolitan Detroit AFL-CIO, 2550 W. Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan, 48208 or call (313)896-2600, FAX (313) 896-1078.
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