Unless excused, a person had to walk the picket line to receive a strike check. A week’s striking was worth only $200, no matter how much one’s normal pay was.
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.
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.
Join us for a special event at the Guild to remember this important event in newspaper and union history. We will have a new video documenting the 11-day strike and special guests (rumor has it that a couple harmonicas might come out). This reception is November 14 from 6 pm …