As Chronicle workers vote today on a union concessions that Hearst says will prevent the paper’s closure, retired Chron labor reporter Dick Meister wrote an opinion piece for the Guardian about the paper’s history of labor relations. Topics include San Francisco’s 52-day newspaper strike in 1968 and the 11-day strike in 1994. As for today’s problems, Meister’s conclusion:
- So what to do? The unions proposed that Hearst join with them to develop “a joint business recovery plan.” But Hearst showed no outward interest in that or in anything else except selling or closing — the 144-year-old Chronicle.
That could possibly be avoided by turning the paper into a non-profit public enterprise, much like a public television station, or selling stock to finance its operations. But are there enough people in these days of economic distress willing to make an investment in keeping alive one of our most vital community institutions?