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

Richard Vigilante, Author Simon & Schuster $22.5 (319p) ISBN 978-0-671-79631-0
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)
Reviewed on: 07/04/1994
Release date: 07/01/1994
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