Fight to the finish

If you read Detroit’s dailies, you get the impression that everything is copacetic now that all the unions representing workers at the Detroit News and Free Press have signed contracts, putting an end to the bitter labor dispute that began in 1995. Yeah, right.

Union officials may be asking readers to again subscribe to the two papers, but a rank-and-file contingent is gathering signatures for a letter urging the UAW to keep the boycott going until workers fired during the strike are all rehired. Here’s some of the letter, which sources say will be sent to UAW President Steve Yokich and the international’s executive board on Feb. 1:

“As you know, contracts were ratified with the locked-out locals. These were contracts that contained many offensive concessions, including open shop, substantial pay cuts, loss of sick days, and subcontracting of work. Particularly offensive is the newspaper companies’ refusal to give amnesty to more than 100 workers illegally fired during the strike …

“We understand agreements were made by leaders of the newspaper unions to secure contracts, including their call to end the boycott. But, as individual workers, we believe it is necessary to continue the boycott until there is amnesty.”

News Hits is edited by Curt Guyette, the Metro Times news editor. Call 313-202-8004 or e-mail [email protected]