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Unions won ’94 solidarity test

By Carl Hall

San Francisco newspaper workers have staged only a couple of strikes during the past 80 years, and they had a sort of accidental quality. In 1968, a few roving pickets from a Mailers Union strike at the Herald Examiner came up from LA, and somehow got a two-month strike going at the SF metros.

In 1994 the issues that drove us out into the rainy streets were even more obscure.

To celebrate the 1994 strike on its 20-year anniversary, the Guild is hosting a reception at 433 Natoma, 6-8 p.m., Friday Nov. 14.

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Photo by Nancy Wong 1994.

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Steve Rubenstein plays harmonica as his spouse, Caroline Grannan looks on. Steve and Caroline were part of the SF Newspaper Strike of 1994. Photo by Kat Anderson 2014.

Strikers remember rain, pain and some gain

A strike had been percolating for weeks before 2,600 workers from 11 unions at the Examiner, the Chronicle and the SF Newspaper Agency walked off the job Nov. 1, 1994. Four days of round-the-clock negotiations hit a logjam over salary and job security.

Strikers pushed cups in the Chronicle fence to spell out "Contract now." Photo by Nancy Wong 1994.

1994 strike set a sour tone for a new era in newspapers

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The 1994 newspaper strike was characterized by vicious union-busting, anti-worker tactics that still sour newspaper owner-worker relations today — and served as a template for how to help kill an industry.

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’94 strike treasurer bore witness to solidarity

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A person had to walk the picket line to receive a strike check. Strike pay was $200, no matter how much one’s normal pay was. Thankfully, the strike was settled after 11 rainy and tension-filled days.

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20th anniversary of the SF Newspaper Strike

November 14, 2014

Join us for a special event at the Guild to remember this important event in newspaper and union history.

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