Strike: The Daily News War and the Future of American Labor

Strike: The Daily News War and the Future of American Labor

by Richard Vigilante

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Vigilante, editorial director of the Center for Social Thought, combines solid, detailed reporting with less firmly grounded analysis in this ambitious, absorbing book. In covering the ugly five-month strike in 1990-1991 at the Tribune Co.'s New York Daily News , Vigilante ably describes union excesses--with many men paid not to work, employee compensation was 30% higher than industry scale--and sketches the negotiators, including union adviser Theodore Kheel and super-tough management lawyer Bob Ballow. Because reporters joined the strike of craft unions, the workers gained press sympathy, while union intimidation of newsdealers was shrugged at. The strike ended with the paper's purchase by Robert Maxwell; within days of Maxwell's death the following November, the paper was in Chapter 11, and was later sold to Mortimer Zuckerman. Vigilante undermines his reporting with expressions of his fervent belief in the value of self-reliance that don't acknowledge the varied realities of the American workplace. (July)
Library Journal
The Daily News had the top newspaper circulation in New York City in October 1990. By March 1991, its owners, Tribune Company, had paid Robert Maxwell $60 million just to get rid of it. The reason: a devastating, nearly five-month strike chronicled here by Vigilante, a columnist for New York Newsday. He provides an exhaustive analysis of why the strike happened and what it means not only for the newspaper industry but the entire American labor movement. He is critical of both unions and management, though his focus is on labor and how a unionized workforce can survive in the era of Total Quality Management. For a more newspaper-oriented view, see the strike chapter in former Tribune Company editor James D. Squires's Read All About It!: The Corporate Takeover of America's Newspapers (LJ 1/93). Recommended for media and labor collections.-Bruce Rosenstein, "USA Today" Lib., Arlington, Va.
David Rouse
Vigilante, editorial director at the Center for Social Thought and a "New York Newsday" columnist, uses the story of the bitter, protracted strike in 1990 against New York's "Daily News" and the "Chicago Tribune" both to question the role of unions in American society and to make his case that we need a strong but different kind of union today to keep a check on corporations. The costly, violent strike reflected many of the problems and dilemmas of modern life, and Vigilante vividly but objectively reports them: violence, organized crime, media objectivity, greed and corruption, corporate power, technology in the workplace, etc. Ultimately, the essence of the battle boiled down to the question of who will have a say in what work itself will be like in the future. Clearly, Vigilante believes that say should not rest with any one group or interest.

Product Details

Simon & Schuster
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.36(w) x 9.58(h) x 0.98(d)

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