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Resolutions & Amendments

32nd International Convention - Chicago, IL (1996)

In Support of Striking Workers at Detroit Newspapers

Resolution No. 108
32nd International Convention
June 17-21, 1996
Chicago, IL


2,600 employees of the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, owned by Gannett and Knight-Ridder respectively, walked out July 13, 1995 after negotiations failed to produce agreement on a new contract. The unions, including the Teamsters, the Newspaper Guild, the Communications Workers and the Graphic Communications Union, were pressured to go on strike when Knight-Ridder and Gannett refused to bargain in good faith and unilaterally began implementing changes in labor agreements; and


Gannett's and Knight-Ridder's answer to the pleas of their workers for justice has been harassment and intimidation. The unions' just cause has generated unprecedented support and as a result of this the public image and the sales of Knight-Ridder and Gannett have been seriously damaged. Yet the companies remain adamant in their refusal to negotiate realistically toward terms of settlement; and


Few disputes in recent memory have attracted the concern and provoked a response the way this one has. In their fight for justice, these workers have the complete support of the American trade union movement as well as the support of many distinguished Americans, including politicians and church leaders of many denominations; and


The AFL-CIO has launched an aggressive campaign to win a fair labor contract and bring justice to the 2,600 strikers who have been threatened with permanent replacement. AFSCME International and its affiliates have been very active in this campaign including financial support, adopting striking families and urging a boycott of USA Today.


That AFSCME and its affiliates will renew and extend their support for the unions in their battle against Gannett and Knight-Ridder. AFSCME vehemently deplores the use of strikebreakers and fully supports the unions' efforts to achieve a fair contract. AFSCME urges Gannett and Knight-Ridder to end this senseless destruction of two major newspapers and engage in meaningful collective bargaining.