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Detroit Newspaper Strike Collection

Identifier: LR002748

Scope and Content

Series 1: Kate DeSmet Records, 1995-1999 Series 2: Esther Ingber Records, 1995-1996 Series 3: Randy Karpinen Records, 1997-1998 Series 4: Ephemera/AV, 1995-1999


  • 1995 - 2001
  • Majority of material found within 1995 - 1999

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


The Detroit Newspaper Strike started on July 13, 1995 with six labor unions and around 2,500 workers striking against the Detroit’s two primary newspapers, the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. The strike ended on February 14, 1997 and was finally resolved in court three years later with the federal courts reversing the NLRB ruling that the newspapers had engaged in unfair labor practices. During the strike, there were local boycotts, legal charges of unfair labor practices and violence. The newspapers continued to print papers while the strikers created their own newspaper called the Detroit Sunday Journal. By the end of 1995 those on strike started to cross the picket line and return to work, the newspapers hired replacement workers and began to print their papers in Toledo, away from strikers blocking the printing facilities. After the strike was called off by the unions, management for the papers said they would not fire the replacement workers and only hired back strikers a few at a time.

This collection contains materials from three different strikers who deposited their materials during an oral history project about the strike. They are Esther Ingber and Kate DeSmet both writers and Randy Karpinen a Teamster. The collection contains meeting minutes, organizing material, various articles and ephemera from the strike.


8 Linear Feet (4 SB, 1 OS)


Arranged in four series - Series 1 (Boxes 1-2), Series 2 (Box 2), Series 3 (Box 2), and Series 3 (Boxes 2-5), Folders are arranged alphabetically, Series 4 organized by type and size.


Materials came to the Reuther Library from 2013-2015.

Related Materials

Newspaper Guild Local 22: Detroit Records, Ellen Creager Papers, Thomas Bernick Papers, Action Coalition of Strikers Records, Nancy E. Dunn Papers

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Dan Golodner on February 21, 2017.
Guide to the Detroit Newspaper Strike Collection
Processed by Daniel Golodner.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA