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It was 15 years ago–July 13, 1995–that hundreds of Detroit newspaper workers hit the bricks for a strike that would last 19 months and change thousands of lives.Gary Dymski worked in the sports department at the Detroit News when the strike was called. The strike was sometimes characterized as “violent” by several media outlets, but Dymski takes issue with that.
“Let’s go back and look,” Dymski said. “No union violence ever occurred. Now, we struck and we shouted and yelled and waved signs, but we didn’t beat up anybody. Is waving a sign violent?”
Nine months into the strike, Dymski was forced to move with his wife and kids to New York where he still works for Newsday. He says he is proud of the stand he and his co-workers took in 1995.
So who won? According to Dymski, “the workers always lose in this situation, because the company would rather spend $100 million on fighting you than give you one-tenth of that amount to resolve the issue.”
So would he take such a stand again? “I guess…if I knew what I knew today, I would be an advocate for taking a stand but not going on strike.”
Stay with WWJ all week as we hear from both sides in the labor dispute that changed the media landscape in Detroit forever.
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