Monterey Herald Guild members approved a contract with the employer Wednesday that gives workers one extra paid day off a year, keeps a cap on health care benefits, and raises cell phone reimbursement to $60 monthly.
The solidarity demonstrated at the bargaining table and on the streets of San Francisco inspired the international unions involved to form a national level council of newspaper unions — the Newspaper Industry Coordinating Committee, or NICC. NICC fostered cooperation among the Guild, International Typographical Union, Teamsters and Graphic Communications International Union (pressmen) that had never occurred on a national level.
The Newspaper Guild (TNG) president Bernie Lunzer sent a letter on Monday to Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates and Police Chief Michael Meehan that expressed outrage about the brutal treatment that several journalists suffered at the hands of law enforcement officers during protests in Berkeley over the weekend.
On Saturday night, several members of the media that were covering the Berkeley protests of police brutality in New York and Missouri were battered by police, even while displaying their credentials. Berkeley police used batons against these journalists, striking at least one in the head.
A strike had been percolating for weeks before 2,600 workers from 11 unions at the Examiner, the Chronicle and the San Francisco Newspaper Agency walked off the job Nov. 1, 1994. Four days of round-the-clock negotiations hit a logjam over salary and job security, but by then, a solid structure had been formed for a strike.
There were serious conflicts in the pressroom and distribution system, and the mailers (by this time we had figured out these were the people who assembled the papers and preprinted inserts into bundles for delivery) still had legitimate issues twenty-six years after the 1968 strike.
By Larry Hatfield
The 1994 strike was remarkable for a variety of reasons, the most profound of which may have been that it was a seminal event in the development of online media. Both sides made significant contributions.
Navy jet mechanics, members of IUE-CWA Local 89119, won a 5-year contract by hanging tough. CWA members across the country celebrate with them.
Location and timing is everything for local journalism as it is for real estate. The San Mateo Times adhered to that principle for decades. And it proved quite profitable.
An ad posted by the San Francisco-based Guild local reads: “Employees of your community’s newspaper want a new attitude respecting quality jobs & quality journalism on the part of ownership.”