By: Mark Fitzgerald
Auto Union Still Concerned About Discharged Newspaper Workers
The United Auto Workers (UAW) executive board announced Tuesday that it was
dropping the boycott of The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, and
Gannett Co.’s USA Today begun more than five and a half years ago when
six unions struck the jointly produced papers.
Because of the boycott, the newspapers were not allowed to be sold at Detroit
area auto plants, costing the papers an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 sales daily.
UAW President Stephen P. Yokich pointedly continued the boycott in recent weeks
even as the Teamsters, the Newspaper Guild and other unions pledged in December
to help promote circulation of the papers as the final striking unions ratified
contracts with Detroit Newspapers, the joint operating agency for Gannett’s
News and Knight Ridder Inc.’s Free Press.
“News and Free Press management should not mistake the lifting of
our boycott as a sign that the UAW thinks all the issues have been put to rest,”
Yokich said in a statement. “We remain deeply concerned about all the workers
who were discharged during this conflict – many simply for joining with
community leaders in peaceful protests. Basic decency demands that all these
workers receive fair hearings in a timely manner, and the UAW will pay close
attention to how News and Free Press management resolve this
critically important issue.”
A group of Detroit religious leaders, the Interfaith Committee on Workers
Issues, is continuing its boycott of the paper because the labor contracts do
not include an amnesty for strikers fired for alleged misbehavior on the picket
Mark Fitzgerald (firstname.lastname@example.org) is editor at large for E&P.
Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.