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Why not go on strike?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by creaven, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. creaven

    creaven New Member

    I'm sure this has a obvious answer, but why don't reporters ever (or very rarely) go on strike?

    I admit that I'm new to the business and young, but are we really that expendable? Can paper's get away with hiring scabs and printing AP throughout an entire paper? Is it a lack of organization? Are reporters looked down upon so much that we would get no public support?

    Anyway, if my paper figures out who this is I'm not thinking or even want to go on strike (they can fire me for any reason they see fit). I'm just curious why others haven't hit the picket lines.

    I did find this article that kind-of-sort-of explains why, but not really:

  2. Most recent strikes have been spectacularly unsuccessful, and that's why I think you see so few of them.

    Frankly, I think the biggest problem is the Guild linking the strike with other non-newsroom units. In Detroit, they were striking (in part) to protect blatant feather-bedding downstairs. In Youngstown, many of the non-newsroom strikers were making more from their union-paid strike income than they would on the job, and thus had no incentive to negotiate and end the strike.

    I think that explains why many Guild people became disillusioned and crossed the line.

    I don't think scabs are the issue. Replacement workers are inevitable. It's not like the paper is going to stop publishing because the workers are on strike.
  3. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I know of an 18K paper that was hit by a six-month strike years ago (I want to say nine) and its circulation has never recovered. I believe it's still down nearly 10K.
  4. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Youngstown was a farce, and we all know that.

    The fact that they haven't struck in York, Pa., or Richmond, places that haven't had contracts for three or four years now, is not a good sign.
  5. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    I'm not familiar with workings in and around union shops. Three or four years of negotiations is a long time, then?
  6. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    My bosses would likely say "we'll get someone else." No matter how good someone is.

    Pay is bad at most places in this business. It's the way it is.
  7. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Going three or four years past expiration is very unusual. I'm not an expert on union shops, but the longer you go without a contract, the worse it is for your people.
  8. jlee

    jlee Well-Known Member

    Pay isn't the only reason to strike though. Take the recent UAW strike for example. Wages aren't the issue, but ensuring that American factories are guaranteed to produce and stay afloat and insurance issues are the keys there, I believe.
  9. pallister

    pallister Guest

  10. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    But we've got signs with wooden sticks!
  11. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    Thanks. I ask because a friend of mine may or may not possibly be involved in such a predicament.
  12. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    It may be apocryphal, but I'm sure we've all heard stories of the publisher who'd remind his new hires that more people graduate from journalism school in this country each year than work as journalists at all its newspapers.
    Yes, in their eyes, we're quite expendable.
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