In "Striking Out" (MT, Jan. 24-30), Jim Dulzo missed the mark several times, which was odd considering the many interviews that he did not reference while writing. (I was one of the ones interviewed). The most glaring problem is the omission of five of the six striking unions. Leaving them out of the story is insulting. Along with the Newspaper Guild, the Council of Newspaper Unions represents the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Detroit Typographical Union, and the Graphic Communicators International Union. Without them no words could be read.
The opening phrase "six of the eleven unions" is pure company line. The five unions (also not mentioned specifically in the story) were the assorted building trades who work on the building — electrical, plumbing, carpentry, sheet metal and operating engineers — never numbering more than 100 people at a time and are contract employees, not direct employees of Detroit Newspapers. This has proved convenient to the paper when they try manipulating public opinion. It’s a fact, but it's not truthful.
The Metro Times has been mostly supportive and we in the struggle has appreciated this. It's too bad such a one-sided, incomplete story got such big play. —Barbara Ingalls, Detroit, Typographical Union Local 18
Who’s in charge?
Kudos on the newspaper strike article. Having read many articles published about the strike, your article was the best researched and most insightful of any I have seen. My only comment would be concerning statements about labor law reform and the Republicrats currently in rule. I could have sworn it was the Clinton administration who was in rule when the strike began, and his administration who had control of the secretary of labor. —Michael Berger, Farmington Hills
Between the lines
The Detroit newspaper strike is still an open wound for thousands of workers and their families. It's especially enlightening to read the comments of one Tim Kelleher, the DNA's answer to Goebbels. He says: "I would approach it [the strike] exactly the same way again, because it was the right way to go."
What was so right about the DNA's approach? It certainly wasn't right for the workers, the community or the readers. It was right for some selective scabs and big-name folks, like Mitch Albom and Jon Pepper. And just what did the DNA do to prevent a strike? It never, ever negotiated fairly with its workers. The DNA did what was best for its business, its parent companies, Gannett and Knight Ridder. No other interest was served.
What's even more frightening is the grand scale. Shouldn't every American, liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, be ashamed — better yet, afraid — of the way the three-judge panel of the District of Columbia Federal Court of Appeals acted in this matter? Where's the justice, the democracy, the freedom in a judicial system that makes partisan decisions?
Next time a Detroit newspaper preaches to its readership about community, about what's just and right, read very carefully. Read between the lines. —Gary M. Dymski, Lake Grove N.Y.